Writing to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce Committees, Verizon Communications and AT&T offered divergent views on the advisability of pushing back the February 17 digital television (DTV) transition deadline. The letters were delivered to Capitol Hill in the midst of reports that members of the Senate Commerce Committee are working on draft legislation to delay the February 17 DTV transition that could be introduced as early as next week. While neither Verizon nor AT&T holds any broadcast DTV spectrum, the companies together won the lion’s share of vacated 700 MHz analog TV channels that were auctioned to the wireless industry last year for a record $19 billion in net bids. In addition to causing “significant disruption and consumer confusion,” Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg warned lawmakers that a delay of the DTV transition deadline would “postpone the availability of spectrum critical for advanced commercial and public safety communications systems that will help achieve two important objectives: more extensive broadband deployment and interoperable first responder communications.” Adding, “the precise problem we face at this juncture—the shortage of converter box coupons—can be remedied expeditiously . . .through legislation waiving the Anti-Deficiency Act,” Seidenberg characterized the “more drastic step” of delaying the DTV transition as “unnecessary.” While voicing sympathy with concerns raised by Verizon and others, however, AT&T said it would support an extension of the transition deadline on grounds that “a smooth transition from analog broadcast transmissions to digital is in the public interest and will ultimately inure to the benefit of all Americans.” Supporting a three-month delay in the DTV transition date that would be accompanied by a corresponding extension of build-out requirements for 700 MHz licensees, AT&T told lawmakers that “any delay of the cutoff date beyond this limited extension would surely interfere with . . . carefully planned innovations, undercut the long-term financial viability of the investments behind them, and distort competition in the marketplace.”