According to a report on usatoday.com, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat from WV, incoming chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, proposed legislation that calls for a delay in the switch to digital TV broadcasting. The legislation would delay the switch, currently scheduled for Feb. 17, by nearly four months to June 12. The delay would also have to be passed by the House to be put into effect.
Rockefeller is quoted in the report as saying “I firmly believe that our nation is not yet ready to make this transition.”
The report says that the Consumer Electronics Association trade group and other opponents of the delay say that it will only increase consumer confusion. Supporters of the delay include President-elect Barack Obama, Governor David Paterson of NY, the AARP, and telecom giant AT&T.
According to the report, the government’s $1.34 billon coupon program, which provided households with up to two $40 coupons to help with the purchase of digital converter boxes, ended two weeks ago when the money ran out.
The report adds that only TVs using antennas that receive signals over the air require a converter box; cable and satellite TVs are not affected. The report says that since the coupon program has ended, consumers have been put on a waiting list, which to date has grown to roughly 2.1 million people.
For more information, visit www.dtv.gov.