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FCC Staffer: DTV Transition Will Really Happen

Also look for AM on FM translator item

The DTV transition will definitely happen on schedule. There won’t be another delay.

That was the word late last week from Rick Chessen, senior advisor to acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps. Chessen was speaking to members of the North American Broadcasters Association.

“It’s hard to believe we have seven days to go,” Chessen said Friday. The transition date is this Friday June 12. The delay from February was helpful, he said and resources from the federal stimulus package “put us in a much better position,” noting that the number of households without converter boxes have been cut in half since February.

As with any transition, there will still be bumps along the way, he noted, noting that some viewers will still have receptions issues after the switch due to “propagation characteristics or tower moves.” Some viewers will get more channels and others won’t.

Switching to priorities for Copps, Chessen said certainly getting through the DTV transition heads he list followed by national broadband deployment.

Speaking of radio issues pending at the commission, aside from the IBOC voluntary power increase, the commission has been circulating an order that considers whether to allow AMs to operate on FM translators. Sources in the room told Radio World they believe the item will come out soon.