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CEA, FCC Address Technology Policy for 2009

Las Vegas, NV — Candid insight from U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin and predictions for the year’s hottest products were the highlights of day three at the 2009 International CES this past weekend.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin joined CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro for a one-on-one discussion addressing Chairman Martin’s tenure at the FCC. The two discussed a variety of issues including the upcoming digital television transition. Martin said that Congress should clear up the accounting issues with the NTIA coupon system so additional coupons for converter boxes can be issued. He stated, “If the coupon problem can be fixed without changing the date, we should do that.” Chairman Martin expressed concern that changing the date could cause consumer confusion because the industry and government have spent a considerable amount of time and energy on ensuring consumer awareness of the February 17 transition date.

Chairman Martin noted that since his tenure in 2005, he has had few regrets including the length of time it took to approve the merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radio. He stated that since both companies were facing financial problems, the merger was inevitable and the companies face competition from other music providers.