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House Says No To DTV Transition Delay

Members of the House this afternoon failed to pass a bill that would delay the transition from analog to digital television signals by four months. Without House approval, the deadline for the switch stands at Feb. 17. Qualcomm (s QCOM) is undoubtedly rejoicing, as it stands to lose the most from putting the transition on pause.

Prompted by the fear that millions of consumers would see their televisions go black after the transition (Nielsen puts the number at 6.5 million), President Barack Obama and the Senate have been trying to get the transition date pushed back until June. Such a delay would mean those that leased spectrum in the 700 MHz auction (such as Qualcomm, which wants to broadcast its mobile television service), couldn’t use those airwaves.

Qualcomm’s joy may be short-lived, however, as legislation will likely be reintroduced in the House next week with the possibility for amendments. If it does get voted in, Qualcomm may seek an amendment to try to force nine stations in four metro areas to stop analog broadcasts in February rather than in June, which would allow Qualcomm to launch its MediaFLO service. Congress, meanwhile, would turn its focus to finding money to fund a program that will help consumers prepare for the shift.

9 Responses to “House Says No To DTV Transition Delay”

  1. Guess what, when June arrives there will still be “millions” of people not ready for the transition. This is just silly. A few days without TV and those who actively ignored the PSAs and screen crawls for YEARS, will finally buy a converter.

    This transition is never going to be issue-free. If you are not ready for this transition today, its likely you are so lazy and entitlement-minded that you will never be ready, unless the nanny state sends a tech to you house to install a free converter box.

    Ricardo, the government routinely screws more that 5% of the population on any number of issues. If 95% ARE ready, that’s success for sure.

  2. ricardo montnog

    Let me get this straight. You selfish people who say screw 5% of your fellow citizens and deny them access to the airwaves THEY OWN as Americans….

    …but you are willing to give banks a trillion dollars so they can pay out billion dollar bonuses after creating this catastrophe without blinking an eye…

    You are ignorant, disloyal, unpatriotic, and fools.

    WE THE PEOPLE own the airwaves. NOT telecoms.

    During this economic catastrophe, it is the WRONG message to isolate and say f-you to 5% of our struggling citizens.

    The delay WILL pass in the form of a special bill (Thank you in advance, Congress) and all of you selfish bastards should try thinking of your fellow citizens for a change. We are entering into a MAJOR depression fools — we need free public information from broadcast television.

    Selfish brainwashed short-sighted fools.

  3. So the Senate wants to coddle those procrastinators, those supposed 6.5 million who have been bombarded with this impending change multiple times every day – IF they have been watching any TV. Thank the House for not going along with this delay. I installed converter boxes for my brother-in-law, and the picture quality NOW is much better – sharper and no ghosts with the antenna on top of the TV.

  4. TV is the most important thing that our representatives should be discussing and trying to push a change through? We’ve clearly reached the point where those who haven’t made adjustments will only make them once they are necessary (i.e. not getting a signal). I’m not clear on what the additional months buys anyone and how we increase the chance that everyone will be more prepared than they are right now.