Obama wants delay in digital TV transition
Less than six weeks. That’s all that’s remaining until broadcast analog TVs all over the country go noisy if they haven’t already received their AD converter boxes. It’s not like there hasn’t been warning, or even billions in aid to help those who can’t afford to pay for the new boxes – which aren’t even that expensive to begin with. But President-Elect Barack Obama thinks the timing is all wrong and is asking Congress to delay the big handover.
Citing a lack of funding and poor education of the populace, and the majority of those to be left behind being from low income and rural areas, the new incoming administration now believes that with the state of the world and our economy, switching off the analog broadcast signal could be a bad idea – one with epic consequences.
Recent reports have stated that demand is so high, that the program will be depleted and forced to shut down nearly a month before the transition. And it worries the new administration that barely a few weeks into their reign, that Americans all across the country will wake up to no TV.
“The program designed to provide consumers with a coupon to defray the cost of the digital-to-analog converter necessary for analog TVs to continue to work as run out of funds. As of today, over 1 million coupon requests ssit on a wait list, unable to be fulfilled … projections suggest that number could climb to over 5 million un-honored requests,” stated transition co-chair John Podesta. “All of the above leads to the conclusion that the February 18 cutoff date for analog signals should be reconsidered and extended.”
Experts believe moving the date to mid-summer would not only give the incoming administration more face time, but also allow for part of the upcoming stimulus package Congress is already considering to be applied to budget shortfalls in the converter box program.
Hat Tip – The Giz