How much will the government pay for everyone to watch TV?
The effort to delay next month's scheduled death of analog television suffered a setback in Congress on Wednesday, despite warnings that millions of American homes will not be able to see broadcast shows in three weeks. The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously Monday, failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote in the House on Wednesday afternoon. Unless Congress acts quickly, older televisions won't pick up TV broadcasts without a digital converter after February 17. The switch will not affect cable or satellite subscribers. . . In January, the incoming Obama administration urged Congress to extend the date because the switch "has not been adequately funded. There is insufficient support for the problems consumers (particularly low income, rural and elderly Americans) will experience as a result of the analog signal cutoff," transition team Co-chairman John Podesta said in a news release" -----Alan Duke, CNN
The long-winded switch from analog to digital television is right around the corner, but the Obama administration has been attempting to postpone the monumental switch in television viewing. This is citing a lack of federal funding, believing that low-income, elderly and rural viewers (the primary consumer that would be receiving subsidies) have not been adequately supported for the digital takeover. In order to continue receive television broadcasts, owners of analog televisions would have to either purchase a digital television or an analog converter--an item for which the FCC has recently run out of subsidizing coupons.
What caught my attention is this: over $200 million has been spent in order to make the switch less disastrous for analog users. Although the television is essentially a staple in the American home, I am not under the impression that such a large amount of money must be spent in order to make consumers "ready" themselves for an analog to digital transformation. A postponement of the switch would presumably result in an even greater allocation of federal funds, one that I believe is going towards a rather unworthy issue: television.