House Kills Delay of Digital TV
In the weeks leading up the inauguration, there have been plenty of moaning and trial balloons on the prospect of delaying the nation's planned transition to only digital TV and the requirement for the broadcast industry to vacate the spectrum that they had been previously allocated for FREE.
I've pretty much argued that it is wasteful to society to use spectrum for entertainment (TV's greatest contribution to society). To me wireless has so much greater potential for innovation, for jobs, for positive effect on education, public safety, health etc as a medium for human-human communications. Entertainment should be paid for by users, not free, while communications should be free and not paid for….
Here's the FCC's FAQ on the transition.
It seems that the government has underestimated the number of $40 coupons it needed to print and too many people will not have the converter boxes to capture digital signals and deliver them to analog tuners on older cable-less and satellite-less TVs. So, some in the Senate proposed a delay. Of course, the delay would simply cause confusion and anger among those who successfully navigated the transition already not to mention infringe on the rights of the firms (ATT, Verizon Wireless, Qualcom) that invested BILLIONS to pay for the right to use the spectrum currently reserved for TV broadcast.
Fortunately, the House of Representatives defeated the Senate bill, and digital TV remains on the countdown to February 17 and the transition to digital TV.
Fortunately, the transition date occurs two weeks after the end of the Super Bowl.
Update: Congress did pass a bill to delay the transition to June 12, 2009. Sorry Qualcom. Sorry AT&T. Sorry Verizon.
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