Hutchison Tells Constituents To Get DTV-Ready

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said Tuesday that many of her constituents may not be ready for the June 12 DTV transition, but that there was still time to prepare before the looming June 12 deadline.

Hutchison, ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, was instrumental in negotiating a compromise bill that moved the hard date from Feb. 17 to June 12.

"Large numbers of Texans may still remain unprepared, including many elderly and disabled individuals as well as those facing language barriers," she said in an e-mailed advisory.

Hutchison said it would take "modest measures" to make sure that all Texans could get access to programming as well as emergency weather and public safety information like national AMBER alerts, which Hutchison was instrumental in creating.

She also explained why the transition was necessary, pointing to sharper pictures and more diverse programming, but saying it was "most importantly" to reclaim analog spectrum that could be used for a national, interoperable public safety network to help respond to terrorist attacks and national disasters.

Early on in the DTV transition, legislators were concerned that if enough folks were not prepared when the hard date came, they could face a flood of angry calls from constituents. But Hutchison said that "if we work together to ensure our own preparations and assist others with theirs, Friday, June 12 can go smoothly for the hundreds of thousands of Texans this change will impact."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.