Bill Would Force Satellite Radio Units To Go Digital
September 29, 2008 at 9:54 AM (PT)
The FCC is asking for public comment on whether to require satellite radio receivers to pick up digital radio signals, reports ARSTECHNICA.COM. But Rep. EDWARD MARKEY (D-MA) said the answer should be yes, and he's not waiting for the FCC to make the call. MARKEY's "Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act" (H.R. 7157) would mandate that devices designed to receive both the new merged SIRIUS XM RADIO service and terrestrial AM/FM radio be able to receive digital radio too.
"Millions of Americans today rely on local broadcast radio for news, public safety bulletins, sports, weather, traffic and other information," MARKEY said in a press statement released SATURDAY. "The recent merger of the only two satellite radio providers, XM and SIRIUS satellite radio, has underscored the importance of ensuring consumer access to a diversity of sources for digital radio content, in particular content originating in their local communities."
"NAB salutes the leadership of Chairman MARKEY and a bipartisan group of lawmakers for sponsoring this important bill that will boost the integration of HD RADIO in satellite radio receivers, including those installed in automobiles," said NAB Pres./CEO DAVID K. REHR. "In addition to providing 235 million weekly listeners with entertainment and music programming, free local radio stations have a long tradition of serving as a lifeline during times of crisis. This legislation will extend and enhance these services as radio stations embrace our digital future."