Time to Bite the Bullet on DTV

It seems the Obamamanians are requesting that the long awaited Feb. 17th switchover to digital television be delayed. This is crap. This transition has been in the works for years. The spectrum usage rights have been sold adding billions to the national coffers. Companies are preparing to invest in development of that spectrum infrastructure which will increase access to wireless broadband Internet services for all of us. This will open up new markets for applications and services. All of this is economic growth which we need so very badly. And it’s infrastructure growth which helps us start to catch up with places like Japan and Korea in terms of our network capabilities.

The reason sited for the delay is that only 91% of Americans have prepared for the switch, and the government is not able to deliver the $40 coupons which help people who need to buy converter boxes. And heaven forbid we create a situation where a single American might be without TV until they can schlep their butts down to the Wal-Mart.

I’ve got news for Mr. Obama. He can delay for 5 more years. He can personally deliver coupons to every mailbox in America. And when the deadline comes, a large single digit percentage of Americans will be unprepared. These people will not take initiative until the idiot box goes dark. Period. Further, we’re talking $40 here. Every last one of us has saved $40 in gasoline this past month due to the reduced price from late ’08. And everybody got a stimulus check last year, maybe it would be good to apply $40 of that towards a converter box. Let’s be realistic, the number of people who desperately want but haven’t invested in a converter box for lack of $40 is extremely small. And the simple reality is that no amount of preparation will assure that every last household is ready on day 1 of DTV.

Sooner or later we need to just bite the bullet and go. Whenever that is, some people will scream. So let’s just get it over with.

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