US bill proposes 2009 switchover deadline

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The US is heading for an analogue switchover deadline of April 7, 2009. That, according to a draft bill seen by news agency Reuters, is the date by which US television broadcasters would be required to surrender their analogue airwaves, and broadcast solely in digital.

Reuters said the draft Senate Commerce Committee legislation—due to be considered this Wednesday—also called for the auction of the liberated analogue spectrum to raise at least $4.81bn for federal coffers.

The draft bill would create a fund to subsidise the cost of buying digital converters for low-income households. According to US government figures around 21m households rely solely on analogue television.

Under current US laws analogue signals will be switched off by December 31, 2006, or when 85% of US households have digital receivers—whichever comes sooner.

In July, US consumer electronics firms joined forces with US broadcasters in backing Congressional attempts to introduce a 'hard date' for switchover.

Lovelace Consulting  |  17.10.2005

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