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House Reps. Eshoo, Deal urge FCC to establish ‘quiet period’

Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:25am
Brian Santo

Two House Representatives have written FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, urging the establishment of a retransmission negotiation “quiet period” starting at the end of the year, when many retrans contracts elapse, and lasting for “a reasonable time” past Feb. 17, the final deadline for the digital transition.

The recommendation is in line with the course desired by the cable industry. The broadcast industry has proposed a far-shorter quiet period of only a few weeks surrounding the February transition.

Reps. Anna Eshoo and Nathan Deal, both members of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, agree with cable that the shorter period risks bitter contract negotiations that could lead to service disruptions.

“Protecting consumers from further confusion related to the transition should be a paramount consideration,” the Representatives wrote.

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