Washington - Sep 27, 2008 - Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, with backing from a bipartisan group of Energy and Commerce Committee members, cosponsored a bill, H.R. 7157, which amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require all radios manufactured or sold within the United States to be capable of receiving satellite radio and digital terrestrial radio signals. Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE), Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Dan Burton (R-IN) are the cosponsors.
Rep. Markey said, "As the broadcast radio industry migrates to digital broadcasting technology, this legislation will ensure that consumers are able to readily receive free service through consumer electronics systems that are otherwise receiving satellite digital audio radio and traditional AM or FM stations."
If the bill is passed, it requires the FCC to take action within 180 days of the enactment.
Markey also added further justification of including satellite radio in the bill: "Further, the recent merger of the only two satellite radio providers, XM and Sirius satellite radio, has underscored the importance of ensuring consumer access to a diversity of sources for digital radio content, in particular content originating in their local communities. My bill therefore simultaneously seeks to address the long-term competitive health of local radio while ensuring that their local, digital services are readily received by radio consumers."
Read Markey's bill at this link.