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House Schedules Two DTV-Transition Hearings

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has seen the Senate Commerce Committee's DTV transition hearing and raised it one.

The House committee said it scheduled two digital-TV-transition oversight hearings. The first will be Oct. 17, the same date the Senate just announced. The second will be Oct. 31, perhaps to make the point of how scary the transition is to some legislators, including chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) concerned about a possible consumer backlash if they are not sufficiently prepared for the February 2009 switch-over.

Witnesses at the first hearing will include FCC chairman Kevin Martin, National Telecommunications & Information Administration chief John Kneuer, and a representative of the Government Accountability Office. A representative of that same office told a Senate hearing earlier this week that the FCC and NTIA had not sufficiently coordinated their respective roles in the transition.

Industry will get to weigh in Oct. 31, though no witnesses have been set. The National Association of Broadcasters announced that it will unveil its major DTV education push Monday. The cable industry already launched a $200 million education campaign.