Today the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology continues its examination of the law authorizing satellite operators to retransmit broadcast television signals. Portions of the law, first passed a quarter of a century ago, expire at the end of next year.
I think it is an important exercise to be required to periodically examine that law. A lot has changed in the video marketplace since it was first passed in 1988. Satellite television providers are no longer new kids on the block. And cable operators, once the commanding presence in the pay-TV sector, now face competition not just from satellite providers, but phone companies and the Internet as well.
We have a year and a half before we must decide what action to take. Let's use that time to make sure we hear from viewers and stakeholders about the actions we should consider, those we should not, and the implications of both. Today is our second of what will be a thoughtful series of hearings as we pursue the appropriate policies.