WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a rush to make sure rural TV subscribers don't lose access to local channels at the first of the year, the U.S. House passed the STELA reauthorization on Wednesday. The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act provides rural TV users to access local channles through satellite providers. Oregon Congressman Greg Walden authored the bill, and says this version of the bill is a compromise with the Senate. "Now, by coming together to produce legislation with strong bipartison, bicameral support, we've demonstrated our commitment to the continued availability of broadcast programming to millions of subscribers. And, to some targeted, and in some cases much-needed reforms, to our communications laws."
Walden testified on the House floor yesterday that if Congress doesn't act by the end of the session, "a million and a half subscribers to satellite television, including many in my home state of Oregon, won't have access to broadcast network programming, come New Years Day."
The STELA reauthorization passed the House yesterday, and is now headed to the Senate.