As I stated earlier today, I would prefer to get on with the currently scheduled Feb. 17 date for the nation’s full-on transition from analog to all digital television transmission in order to avoid confusing people at this late stage of the transition and start reaping even more of the benefits of the digital age. Plus, the government certainly can use the anticipated windfall from the analog spectrum auction and there are some other pressing matters that probably require more of their attention than this one.
In the last few days, however, it was looking more and more like a four-month delay to a June 12 switchover was inevitable with unanimous support on a proposed Senate bill and encouraging words from President Obama’s staff. So you can probably imagine my pleasant surprise a few hours ago when I heard that the vote on a similar measure in the House of Representatives came up just shy of the two-thirds majority necessary to postpone everything by almost four months.
That said, things seem to have a way of changing quite abruptly these days. And despite my overall opinion to the contrary, I do see a couple of benefits to a delay should one occur.
First, the federal government can replenish its supply of $40 converter box discount coupons for those consumers who held off asking for them until just recently.
And second, there are segments of the population who rely on free over-the-air television, including people with low incomes, the elderly and new arrivals to this country, who may just now becoming familiar with this issue.
So while I would like to see the DTV transition happen sooner rather than later, the most important thing is to get it right. Count me among those looking forward to it!