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Digital transition still on for February 17 -- for now

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January 28th, 2009

Today the House defeated a bill the Senate had already voted to pass to delay the transition from analog broadcasting to digital.  So for now, the transition is still set for February 17.  If passed, the bill would've delayed the transition until June.

I got a few e-mails about why we haven't been covering this news.   For starters, there's this: none of the people who will actually be impacted by any of this in a negative way are reading our blog.  I view it as a political issue, but...

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration says there is a backlog of 2.6 million people on the waiting list for vouchers for digital converter boxes that won't all be fulfilled by the 2/17 deadline.  Further, our friends at Nielsen estimate there are more than 6.5 million homes that are still not ready for the transition.

As long as that is true, or anywhere near true, or anywhere near halfway being true -- the deadline will be delayed.  There's zero doubt about it.  Sometime within the next 20 days, it will be delayed.   There's also little doubt about this: as the new deadline approaches, there will be stories of  vouchers not being fulfilled and Nielsen will have a new adjusted number of homes not ready, and it won't be zero.

Here's an AP story with more information.

 
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