DTV delay may be imminent

It appears legislation that would delay the digital TV transition until June 12 is on track for a floor vote this week. The move impacts how quickly the 700 MHz license owners can take possession of the spectrum, but legislation is supposed to carve out exemptions for public safety agencies that have 700 MHz licenses and allow commercial licensees the ability to conduct equipment testing in the band by mid-February. The players could also see some relaxation on buildout requirements.

Qualcomm, however, has said the DTV transition delay will hurt its plans to roll out mobile TV service on a nationwide basis. The company has asked Congress to force nine TV stations to surrender 700 MHz analog frequencies by the current transition deadline to enable MediaFLO to begin running in Boston, Houston, Miami and San Francisco next month.

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