Senate seeks legislation to delay digital TV switch

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Senate seeks legislation to delay digital TV switch

Washington (DC) – Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the new Senate Commerce Committee chairman, has introduced legislation that would postpone the digital TV switch until June 12, citing “I firmly believe that our nation is not yet ready to make this transition,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The legislation, introduced yesterday, also cites concerns over the government’s coupon program funding having become exhausted, indicating that many Americans are trying to make the switch but may have been unable. The switchover to digital for all current full-powered analog broadcasters is scheduled for February 17, 2009. It is estimated that as many as one million Americans are not yet ready for the switch and, on February 17, 2009, will be seeing snow on their TVs as their analog frequency decoders cannot tune to or decode digital TV signal broadcasts.

In the House of Representatives, Democrats have proposed an additional $650 million in additional funds to the exhausted $1.5 billion coupon program so more consumers can get coupons to make the switch.

See The Wall Street Journal.