Obama team favors postponing DTV switchover until June

Posted by Rick C. Hodgin

Washington (DC) - In light of the under-funded government coupon program, and the general feeling that millions of consumers simply aren't ready for the analog-to-digital TV switch, Obama's transition co-chairman, John Podesta, wrote in a letter to Congress today of Obama's support for a delay until June - according to The Wall Street Journal.





The Obama team announced they'd support a delay as recently as last week, and then reiterated their position again today in the letter to Congress. Wrote Podesta, "The situation has only grown worse. [Mr. Obama supports a limited delay so that his administration can have a] realistic opportunity to resuscitate and modify the coupon program."



The article states Obama's advisers are also keen to avoid "dealing with potentially millions of angry American who could lose their TV services in mid-February," just days before Obama's inauguration. It makes sense, especially with the current FCC Chairman, Kevin Martin, having announced his intention to resign the day Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.



Hawaii has already made the switch to digital as part of an early effort to minimize the impact on a native bird population. By switching over now, any broadcast antennas that need to be torn down, replaced, relocated or erected, can do so without affecting the dark-rumped petrel, whose natural migration cycle keeps them away from the antenna locations around this time of year.



One downside to the delay would be an equally delayed increase in wireless broadband speeds, as Samantha Rose Hunt noted earlier today.