Reversing a move for which they’d been preparing the American public for almost two years, the House voted this week to delay the transition to digital television until June of this year.
Why, you may ask, after allowing broadcast industries to spend millions of dollars in preparation and duly preparing the country for the switch, would the Obama administration have urged the House to do so?
Well, 6.5 million Americans — a number representative of only about 5 percent of homes in the U.S. — have televisions that are still sporting the same rabbit ears that even your grandma should’ve thrown out by now, and the government is worried about leaving them high and dry.
The feds, who were supposed to provide coupons for converter boxes to those households, instead put scores of people on a waiting list due to poor judgment about the public’s timeliness in using their certificates.
We believe the need to complete the switch, which was supposed to take place Feb. 17, takes precedence over the necessity of providing televisions to every member of the American public.
While we understand that TV is a public service, we believe that while a nearly trillion-dollar federal bailout is looming, the money spent by public entities in preparation for this change is of larger concern than that of a few people missing out on TV for a few days.
Five percent is hardly a majority and not worth sacrificing the money and time already invested in the switch to the digital age.