Congress and the flawed STELA Legislation

Congress continues to put local lives at risk and harm local businesses

Posted: 17 September 2020
Updated: 11 February 2021

When Laurraine and I moved to Oracle, Arizona, in 2009 we were surprised to learn that the Federal Government prohibited us from watching the Tucson TV stations (30 miles away) via a satellite TV provider. Instead the Government required that we only receive the Phoenix TV stations (about 120 miles away). That meant we could not view the nearest TV stations with their local news, weather, sports, advertising, and local emergency information.

We tolerated the flawed Federal legislation for a few years, but in 2013 I began working to get Congress to fix the flawed, dangerous, and unfair STELA legislation that it created. DirecTV and Dish TV must comply with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Designated Market Area (DMA) regulation that puts all of Pinal County in the Phoenix TV market area. Over the years I have written many letters and emails to elected officials, TV station managers, and others in my efforts to get Congress to stop putting local lives at risk and harming local businesses by enacting a "Market Area Modification" for southern Pinal County, Arizona. I have also posted updates on Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, our elected representatives in Congress have continued to fail the citizens of southern Arizona and not enacted legislative change, even with two local serious crises in 2020. I continue to try to get Congress to change the Federal legislation through "official" and some not so "official" channels. The issue is not specific to southern Pinal County, Arizona. It also affects several other locations in the United States. The next crisis could be weeks, days, or hours away. Congress must not continue to fail American citizens.

I have become the Pinal County "point person" on this issue. To broaden awareness I decided to begin documenting the issue and my efforts online. The following Reports describe these efforts and any results. Updates will be posted as appropriate.

My initial efforts to get Congress to fix STELA 2013-2014
Pinal County Government gets involved 2015-2017
Our Congressman is embarrassed in Oracle 2018-2019
I am proved right - Lives are being put at risk January-June 2020
COVID-19 pandemic and Bighorn Fire crises not serious enough for the Government to act July 2020
I significantly increase my efforts to get Congress to act responsibly August-September 2020
Looking at Legal Options October 2020
Phone Calls to Congress, Washington Post Op-Ed November 2020
Wasted Time and Lost Opportunity in 2020 thanks to Our Congressman December 2020
STELA fiasco thanks to Congress and the FCC January 2021
Pinal County working to get changes in Federal Legislation [NEW! February 2021

I welcome any suggestions and support for this effort. Please contact me at

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