(By Senators Hunter, Prezioso, Sharpe, Ball,

Kessler, Ross and Wooton)


(Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;

reported February 24, 2000.)


Requesting the United States Congress adopt legislation establishing loan guarantee programs or other mechanisms for the delivery of local television satellite signals to markets not receiving local television satellite signals.

Whereas, Current telecommunications legislation pending in the United States Congress will set national policy for decades to come for all Americans; and
Whereas, Current legislation will authorize the retransmission of local television signals by satellite; and
Whereas, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) companies have testified before Congress that they only intend to retransmit certain local televison broadcast signals within certain local televison markets, those being highly populated urban markets where the infrastructure will support a for-profit venture; and
Whereas, More than fifty million households in small- and medium-sized markets must be treated as equals to their urban counterparts. These citizens pay the same taxes and deserve the same news, weather, emergency forecasts and community-building programs that larger urban areas will be receiving; and
Whereas, Sixteen states, including West Virginia, are not included in any satellite company's initial plans to provide "local-into-local" service; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate hereby urges the United States Congress to adopt legislation that will establish loan guarantee programs or other mechanisms for the delivery of local satellite signals to markets otherwise not receiving local satellite signals; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the purpose of such national legislation will be to guarantee the delivery by satellite of over- the-air local television stations to small- and medium-sized markets to ensure the "digital divide" is not made wider by national satellite policy; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and the Secretary of the United States Senate for distribution to the members of each legislative chamber.