BELTWAY BIZ

FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, one of Biz's favorites in the Beltway crowd, is tying the future of digital, high-performance TV to family values and all that sort of thing. The comment period for advanced TV rules is just around the corner on Oct. 18. "This is a fateful chance to lay out the public interest commitment broadcasters are prepared to make to the communities they propose to serve in the digital age," he said last week. "...Give us programs that meet the educational and informational needs of children, constrain excessive graphic sex...." Biz wonders how to define "excessive graphic sex," as opposed to, say, parsimonious graphic sex.

The FCC is sending its press releases to WT in care of a "Shannon Dority," by the way; we hope the gang down on M Street isn't confusing our new telecommunications reportorial sleuth, Shannon Henry, with Fox TV 90210's Republican conservative/biker chick Shannen Doherty. Let's shake the bugs out of our mail/merge, darlings.

DynCorp has hired Henry Philcox, the former CIO at the U.S. Department of Treasury, to lead a strategic push into infotech, since the company has sold off much of its aerospace engineering capabilities. This hasn't been announced yet, so don't tell anybody.

Seems that the telecom-systems integrator crowd was all atwitter last Friday about a press conference that was supposed to herald some important new news about the retooling of FTS 2000, which has been creatively dubbed "Post-FTS 2000." Biz hears that somewhere around 20 new contracts could come down the pike as a result of the new telecom program for the government, but the General Services Administration's press conference, according to impartial observers who attended, was a real yawner - not much specifics, but enough hype to presage something much more simpatico.

Normally Biz would leave this kind of thing for Dr. Acronym, but we can't resist pointing out that the recently out-on-the-street Pentagon high-speed network services package, valued at $500 million for the lucky ticket holder, is called the Defense Research and Engineering Network, which is DREN for short. Biz asks you to hold this column up to a mirror and try to read what that spells backward - oh, what the hell, we'll do it for you - NERD.

Whisper in Beltway Biz's ear with your Washington secrets; anonymity guaranteed, but accuracy isn't: earful@technews.com


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