As the nation makes a slow march towards high-definition TV (digital transmission), what role will the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have in regulating content — given that TV will be freed from the crutch of “public airwaves”? The latest step in the journey is a Senate Commerce Committee action to set 7 April 2009 as the light-switch moment for analog transmission. In addition, the bill includes $3 billion to help non-satellite/cable consumers buy the converter box; the sale of the airwaves (sale?!? don’t these guys know the business model this day and age is subscription/lease/rent?) is expected to generate $10 billion. The House bill does not contain the subsidy and has a different end date.
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