House votes down DTV delay

The Feb. 17 digital TV transition will stay in place after the House of Representatives defeated a measure that would have delayed the transition until June 12.

The House was short of the two-thirds vote needed to delay the transition, voting 258-168 in favor. The Senate had pushed to delay the transition until June but House Republications were concerned the delay would confuse TV customers and put an undue burden on wireless operators and public-safety agencies waiting to use the 700 MHz spectrum after the DTV transition.

The Nielson Co. estimates 6.5 million households still are unprepared for the switch. President Obama had called for a delay and Democrats on Capitol Hill supported the move.

Wireless companies, notably Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility, had paid billions of dollars for spectrum in the 700 MHz band last year in hopes of using it to build out their networks for LTE technology. AT&T, whose LTE deployment plans are not as aggressive as Verizon's, had originally supported a delay, while Verizon opposed it. Verizon later reversed its position and said it would support a short delay as well.  

Qualcomm revealed in a filing with the FCC last week it was ready to begin transmitting its MediaFLO mobile broadcast TV service in 40 markets immediately following the transition.

For more:
- read the Associated Press
- check out the New York Times

Related articles:
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Top 700 MHz auction winners support short DTV transition delay
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DTV delay could affect 700 MHz spectrum owners
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