Bennet, Udall Urge Full U.S. Senate to Act on the Commerce Committee's Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act
U.S. Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, champions for rural Colorado, thanked the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee for heeding their calls to include provisions in the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act that will allow the Federal Communications Commission to help Four Corners residents access Colorado TV news, weather, sports and emergency information. The bill would allow satellite providers and local broadcasters to petition the FCC to allow residents of so-called "orphan counties," which receive broadcasts from stations in other states, to receive broadcasts from local, in-state TV stations.
Udall and Bennet urged the U.S. House of Representatives to act on behalf of the people of Durango, Cortez and the Four Corners region to ensure residents have access to the news, weather, sports and emergency information most relevant to them. The House, however, failed to deliver similar relief for Four Corners residents when it passed similar legislation earlier this year.
"Coloradans in La Plata and Montezuma Counties have been calling for a solution to this problem for decades," Bennet said. "The current system that determines where your local news, sports and emergency information comes from doesn't make a lot of sense for Southwest Colorado. This bill finally gives folks in those counties a path forward to finally fix this problem and I hope Congress will pass this provision quickly."
"I have led the fight in Congress to ensure all Coloradans can access the news, weather and emergency information they need. I am proud the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee heeded my longtime calls to address the issue of 'orphaned counties' in the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act," Udall said. "Despite the U.S. House of Representatives' failure to act on behalf of the people of Durango and Cortez, I am proud the Senate has joined me in addressing this problem. I urge the Commerce Committee and the full U.S. Senate to pass this vital legislation as soon as possible."
Bennet and Udall have championed rural Coloradans' access to local news, weather, sports and emergency information. They have introduced legislation aimed at bringing Colorado TV to the Four Corners region.
Udall recently brought FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to Durango to discuss possible ways to bring Colorado TV to the residents of La Plata and Montezuma counties. He also pressed the FCC this summer to review the feasibility of DirecTV's offering the residents of Mesa and Montrose counties access to local television broadcasts.