You may be thinking of steps currently in progress to eliminate
channels 52 through 59 from UHF TV broadcasting and allocate them to
two-way digital communications and other uses. You can read about the
current actions here:
New allocation scheme set for channels 52-59
"These channels are being offered for advanced wireless services, such
as mobile Internet, as well as interactive TV and new video services
using COFDM technology. However, because this auction is necessarily
tied to the transition to digital television, the auction winners will
not be able to use the frequencies until the broadcasters who now
occupy them have completed the switch to digital operation on channels
outside the 700MHz band. This transition will not be complete until
2006, at the earliest."
Or it's more likely you're thinking of the conversion from analog TV
to digital TV. The way the law is now, TV stations are supposed to be
broadcasting in digital by the end of 2006 (they also can continue to
broadcast in analog, which means basically that stations will be
broadcasting everything in digital AND analog until at least the end
of 2006). The plan is that the plug will be pulled on analog
broadcasts once 85 percent of the population in a market is receiving
digital signals; at that time channels 2 through 13 would be abandoned
in that market.
It has not been determined what the bandwidth for channels 2 through
13 will be used for, although certainly two-way communications is one
At this point, nobody knows how soon 85 percent of people will be
receiving digital broadcasts in given markets. Here is some recent
"Congress has passed a law mandating that all analog TV signals be
switched to digital by 2006; most analog sets would go 'dark' when the
transition is implemented. However, the transition will go into effect
only in markets in which at least 85 percent of residents have a
digital TV or a digital TV converter. And most experts agree that it's
highly unlikely that threshold will be met in any market by 2006; 2010
might be more likely."
Digital television technology set to become must-have
"The FCC has mandated that over-the-air broadcasters make the
transition from analog to digital signals by 2006, although analysts
say that likely will be pushed back several years."
So the short answer to your question is that in some areas channels 2
through 13 could disappear on Jan. 1, 2007, at the earliest, although
more likely not for several years after that.
I hope this fully answers your question.
Google search terms used:
transition digital tv
Google News search term used:
"digital tv" fcc