Fcc 07-71 Before the Federal Communications Commission Washington, D


A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposals



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A. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposals
2. This Second FNPRM seeks comment on several issues relating to the carriage of digital television broadcast stations after the analog to digital transition. Our goal in this proceeding is to determine how to implement the statutory requirements under Sections 614 (local commercial television station mandatory carriage) and 615 (noncommercial educational television station mandatory carriage) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), when digital broadcasters seek mandatory carriage for their digital signal after February 17, 2009, the date established by Congress as to when analog service must cease.45 We remind industry of our 2001 decision regarding material degradation (i.e., that a broadcast signal delivered in HDTV to a cable system must be carried by that system in HDTV).46 In addition, we seek comment on the proposal that cable operators be required to carry all of the primary video and program-related content bits transmitted by the broadcaster and on the alternative proposal to rely on the existing non-discrimination requirement or a new non-discrimination rule to provide a better objective test for material degradation. We also seek comment on procedures by which cable operators could demonstrate that, although they were not carrying every content bit (e.g., through the use of improved compression or other efficiency maximizing techniques), they nevertheless were providing must-carry digital signals without material degradation.47 The Second FNPRM proposes that cable operators can comply with the “viewability” provisions of Sections 614 and 615 (as discussed in the Second FNPRM) and ensure that cable subscribers with analog television sets are able to continue to view all must-carry stations after the end of the DTV transition by either: (1) carrying the digital signal in analog format to ensure that the signal is viewable by all subscribers, or (2) for all-digital systems, carry those signals only in digital format, provided that all subscribers with analog television sets have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast content.48
B. Legal Basis
3. The authority for the action proposed in this rulemaking is contained in Sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 614, and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 154(i) and (j), 534, and 535.



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