[qi:004] By now you all know that sometime next year analog television will be replaced by all-digital television broadcasts, a move that is likely to impact about 21 million viewers who are still using “rabbit ear antennas” and have televisions that can’t receive digital signals.
In order to smoothen the transition, the US government has allocated about $990 million and that will be used to subsidize converters that will be needed in case these folks want to keep watching over-the-air TV. Of course to get the message of “subsidies and coupons” the US Government has budgeted only $5 million. In comparison, UK government has allocated $400 million for the informing their citizens, even though a much smaller country and with a smaller population.
Over here, the Government is betting that the private sector (gear makers like LG and RCA for example) will do the “educating.” Sure, but given the nature of the transition, US Government can’t shirk away from its responsibility, especially since it stands to gain a lot from the switch. The spectrum freed up is going to bring in over $10 billion into the US treasury.