President-elect Barack Obama is urging Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be ready.
In a letter to key lawmakers Thursday, Obama transition team co-chair John Podesta said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. People who don't have cable or satellite service or a TV with a digital tuner will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.
Obama officials are also concerned the government is not doing enough to help Americans — particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities — prepare for and navigate the transition.
"With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively mandated analog cutoff date," Podesta wrote to the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Commerce committees.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Not so fast, please, says The One.