01/15/09 Regulators To Watch Hawaii's Analog TV Signal Transition
With the nation's Feb. 17 shutdown of analog TV signals in doubt, federal regulators will be closely watching what happens Thursday in Hawaii, when the state makes the move early because of an endangered bird. The analog TV shutdown, mandated by Congress to free up space in the airwaves for other services, has gotten early runs in Wilmington N.C., and small towns in Northern California, with some reports of people having problems receiving the digital signals. Hawaii's change is happening now so analog transmission towers can be taken down before the nesting season of the dark-rumped petrel, a volcano-dwelling endangered bird. Lawmakers are divided on whether to push back the transition date, although there is bipartisan agreement that something needs to be done to ensure that everyone is ready in time.
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