Congressional Action Needed to Prevent Consumers From Losing Distant Network Signal Service
--FCC Grade B Order Will Spare Few Consumers--
ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 4, 1999 -- The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) responded today to the FCC’s Report and Order on Satellite Delivery of Network Signals to Unserved Households for Purposes of the Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA) issued February 1, 1999. The satellite industry commended the FCC’s quick turnaround and efforts to aid satellite consumers under limited time constraints. However, the Order will spare few of the hundreds of thousands -of eligible consumers who will lose the distant network signal service on February 28, 1999, because of the Miami Court order. The FCC has acknowledged that eligible consumers will unfairly lose their distant network signals, but determined that it does not have sufficient authority under the SHVA to remedy the problem. The industry calls for legislative action from Congress to change the Satellite Home Viewer Act.
"In spite of the FCC’s best efforts, this decision will not prevent the shut-off of hundreds of thousands of eligible consumers who currently receive distant network signals via satellite by February 28," stated SBCA President Chuck Hewitt. "Only Congress can do that."