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FCC Imposes Cable Rule

12 Sep, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

The Federal Communications Commission Sept. 11 adopted new rules that will ensure every cable subscriber, regardless of whether their TV is analog, can watch all broadcast stations following the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital TV.

The FCC reports roughly 40 million homes, or 35 percent of American households, are analog-only cable subscribers. The rules will require cable operators to make local broadcasters' programming viewable by every subscriber, either by carrying “the digital signal in analog format” or by carrying “the signal only in digital format, provided that all subscribers have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast content.” The rules extend to February 2012.

“This item, at its core, is about the consumer,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said. “It is about ensuring that all Americans with cable — regardless of whether they are analog or digital subscribers — are able to watch the same broadcast stations the day after the digital transition that they are watching the day before the transition.”

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