The FCC advanced the DTV transition on Aug. 4 by establishing a timetable for final DTV channel assignments, setting firm deadlines specifying when broadcasters must begin offering full-power digital service and taking several other steps that address important aspects of the switchover.
During its regular monthly meeting, the commission issued a Report and Order implementing steps including:
- Launching an open channel-election process in November 2004 for a final DTV table of allotments;
- Setting firm deadlines for digital stations to increase their power levels;
- Mandating inclusion of PSIP information in digital broadcast signals;
- Temporarily ending the simulcast requirement;
- Clarifying interference protection for TV channels 51-69;
- Making clear its digital closed-captioning rules;
- Requiring V-chip functionality in all DTV receivers after an 18-month transition;
- Considering individual deployment of distributed transmission technology on a case-by-case basis and fast-tracking a proceeding on the matter.
These steps to accelerate the transition process were unanimously adopted.