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GAO Says DTV Making 'Progress'

Most broadcasters are prepared for the digital transition, but technical issues remain including completing construction, moving antennas and channel positions and coordinating with cable operators. That was the conclusion of a Government Accountability Office report released last week. The report was requested by legislators with oversight of the FCC.

The report said broadcasters had made "substantial progress," with 91% of the 1,122 full-power stations responding to the survey reporting that they were broadcasting in digital, 68% of those at full power. Nearly 100 stations (97) said they were not broadcasting in digital yet, but all but three of those said they expected to be by the Feb. 17, 2009, analog-cutoff date for full-power stations.

One issue broadcasters and cable operators will need to deal with together is coordinating the delivery of the broadcast signal to cable operators. About a third of broadcasters say they are concerned that their digital signals may not reach cable operators or satellite-TV providers after the transition (DTV-coverage areas will not be identical to analog).