The Senate Republicans and Obama have been pushing the need to keep analog signals online instead of switching all television transmissions to digital, to free up wireless spectrum, meaning that we could see a delay in the switch. It would seem after reports of the delay, and with the FCC backing to prevent the switch, it is likely the Senate will postpone it.
A new bill has been presented to delay the switch of DTV till June 12, 2009 because too many Americans, up to 6.5 million households, are not prepared for the switch. The original bill was passed by Congress in 2005, mandating that the switch would be February 17, 2009. On February 17, 2009 all broadcasters would switch off their analog signals and move to digital.
The waiting list for a coupon to get $40 off a digital converter box, has reached 2.6 million requests after the shortage. Many Americans who attempted to redeem the coupon has had troubles, or their coupons have expired. If the bill is passed next week, Americans with expired coupons will be able to apply for a new one with 90 days to redeem the coupon. The bill will also allow customers to apply for a coupon from March 31 to July 31.
Stations eager to drop their analog signal may still wish to do so as of February 17, and switch to digital. A delay in the transition would mean companies that have billions for the wireless spectrum from the government will be put on hold, as well as public safety agencies that have been patiently waiting for the spectrum to be freed up.