FCC in town to help homes get signal

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - All of your questions and concerns about the DTV transition has gotten the attention of the federal government.

Tuesday, representatives from the FCC are in Richmond, visiting homes and collecting information in hopes of fixing the problem with NBC 12's signal once and for all.

FCC representatives arrived at Kathy Hubbard's home and immediately got to work looking for answers.  The question - why can't Kathy get channel 12 on the TV in her kitchen?

"Channel 12 is all I watch. It's my only channel. I can't get the Today Show, or Channel 12 news, or the weather station," said Kathy.

The FCC representatives' mission is to see if it is possible to tune in channel 12's signal. They've brought several different kinds of antennas, and are testing each one. They are also using this device to measure the strength of channel 12's signal at Kathy's house. So far, they aren't having much luck.

One potential solution to this problem would be to increase the power coming from NBC 12's transmitter.  But in order to do that, the station would need the government's permission.

"It's not as simple as giving the station the latitude to do it, because there are issues involved with that in terms of interference with other stations in an adjacent city," said Don Richards, NBC12 General Manager.

So for now, the FCC is addressing the problem one case at a time. At Kathy's house, they eventually were able to lock in channel 12's signal, but it didn't hold well.

For Kathy, a solution won't come soon enough. She just wants her channel 12 back.

"It's part of my daily life, yes," she said.

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