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SBCA Joins DTV Transition Coalition

Alexandria, Va. — The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) said it has joined the Digital Transition Coalition to help accelerate the nation’s transition from analog to digital television broadcasting.

In a prepared statement, the SBCA said it has been a long-time supporter of the transition effort, “arguing that the satellite industry should be allowed to provide high-definition digital signals when they are unavailable by terrestrial broadcast.”

The Digital Transition Coalition is comprised of consumer organizations, taxpayer groups, technology providers and other interested parties. Its members claim they want “to maximize the use of spectrum to allow optimal innovation and utilization to meet growing consumer demand.”

Founding members of the coalition include Americans for Tax Reform, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, EchoStar Communications Corp., Frontiers of Freedom, Media Access Project, Public Knowledge and the Small Business Survival Committee.

The coalition contends the completed transition would free up analog spectrum for the following benefits:

  • faster redeployment of the analog spectrum currently used by television broadcasters
  • through redeployment of the analog spectrum, allow a new wave of technology such as 3G wireless, Wi-Fi and other advances to take advantage of this new spectrum
  • through redeployment of the analog spectrum, make more spectrum available for essential public safety communications
  • by auctioning of the analog spectrum, yield billions of dollars for American taxpayers to be used in a variety of potential ways (e.g. deficit reduction, tax cuts, homeland security  and social security reform).

The deadline, set by Congress, for this transition to take place is Dec. 31, 2006, or when 85 percent of US television households can receive a digital signal ­— whichever comes later.

“SBCA is proud to be part of the Digital Transition Coalition. In addition to encouraging others to speed their transition to digital, DBS should have the ability to serve digitally unserved consumers,” said Richard DalBello, president, SBCA. “Since our launch in 1994, DBS has offered 100 percent digital quality programming to consumers. While our competitors continue to inch towards a format we’ve provided for 10 years, DBS has pushed towards new technology.”

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