The FCC last week released a new set of rules for broadcasters to guide them through the rest of the digital television transition. The new set of rules dictates stations must notify viewers of signal loss and educate consumers on reception issues. Guidelines were also introduced for stations who wish to terminate their analog service before June 12, 2009.
Broadcast stations who have not yet made the transition will now be required to educate consumers about a range of issues including:
"The guiding principle here is simple -- consumers deserve to know the truth,” said Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps. “They will forgive a lot, but they won’t forgive being lulled into a false sense that the transition will be less disruptive or less expensive than it turns out to be."
Major Networks wishing to terminate their analog service prior to June 12 will now be required to show that over 90% of their audience will receive continuing analog service from another major network until the June 12 deadline. If more than 10% of analog viewers would lose service from all major networks then that major network affiliate is responsible for other public interest conditions including requirements for walk-in help centers, consumer referral telephone numbers and DTV education.