Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., supports mandating HD Radio in any receivers that can tune in AM/FM analog and satellite radio signals.
The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet introduced the “Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act.” If passed, H.R. 7157 “require[s] that radios used in the satellite digital radio service be capable of receiving terrestrial digital radio signals.”
The bill has bipartisan support and several co-sponsors, including Reps. Lee Terry, R-Neb.; Charlie Gonzalez, D-Texas; Greg Walden, R-Ore.; Joe Wilson, R-S.C.; and Dan Burton, R-Ind.
Markey said the satellite radio merger “underscored the importance of ensuring consumer access to a diversity of sources for digital radio content, in particular content originating in their local communities.”
NAB President David K. Rehr said the bill would “boost the integration of HD Radio in satellite radio receivers, including those installed in automobiles.”
The legislative calendar is getting short as members of Congress prepare for the elections, so the chances of passage this year aren’t good, experts believe, however observers say the bill lays the groundwork for a better chance of passage next year.