Reps. Seek Orphan County Solution From STELAR Reauthorization

Reps. Deb Fischer and Adrian Smith, both Nebraska Republicans, have introduced an amendment to STELAR reauthorization bills in the House and Senate that would allow satellite carriers to import in-state local TV stations to viewers in 16 Nebraska so-called orphan counties now getting stations from Denver and Sioux Falls, S.D.

The FCC has a market modification process for dealing with orphan counties, but they argue the process is "resource intensive" for "smaller, rural county commissions" to undertake.

Related: Senate Takes Long Look at STELAR

The Western Expanded In-State Television (WEST) Access Act would create an exemption from copyright law to allow satellite access to all the counties.

The STELAR law, which provides for a compulsory satellite license, expires at the end of the year. 

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.