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Bush Proposes Analog Spectrum Fees

Feb 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

In an effort to spur the transition to digital TV, President Bush proposed legislation Monday that would require TV stations that don’t switch to digital and return their analog channels to the government by 2007 to starting paying annual spectrum fees.

According to the president’s proposed budget for fiscal 2006, the analog spectrum fee would raise $500 million from the nation’s 1,400 commercial TV stations under a formula devised by the Federal Communications Commission. The fees would end after stations turned in their analog channels to the government for auction.

In a statement, the National Association of Broadcasters said Congress has been rejecting similar spectrum fee proposals by the White House for more than a decade. “Applying a spectrum tax on local TV stations would slow the DTV transition and ultimately harm consumers who rely on over-the-air broadcasting for news, entertainment and public-interest programming,” the NAB said.