WiMAX On The Way! Just Wait Until 2010
Why does the government have to pay for individual homes' digital to analog converters, anyway? The senate just allocated $3Billion to this issue, even though it only applies to people who pick their TV signals off the air (OTA, not cable or satellite). These are people who have chosen NOT to spend their own money on digital TVs nor cable, nor satellite. They have voted with their wallets that TV is not that important to them. (Sure, some may be poor, but is TV an essential service that must be provided to the poor?) They would get about $60 for each TV to buy a converter. But under 20% of Americans get their signals OTA - and they are already saving $40-100 by not paying for entertainment, like the cable customers are. Meanwhile, in the UK, citizens PAY a tax of about 126 pounds (US$225) a year for every TV in the house, including PC receiver cards! This is Law. The funds are used to support public TV. So, in the UK there is a law that requires per-TV taxes to fund good, intelligent programming, while in the US there is now a law to buy equipment for people's TVs, as funding for public TV erodes. Brilliant. What's the deal? Has TV become a Right in the US, and the government must buy everyone a TV converter so they can still watch Jerry Springer? Didn't see that amendment to the constitution. How did access to mind-numbing tripe become a national imperative for which treasury dollars must be spent? And if anyone thinks I'm being unduly hard on the poor here (because let's face it, that's largely the affected segment), I'm not. I'd be happy to hear that the $3B allocated to free TV upgrades was instead diverted to urban housing, educational reform, social security, or medicare, etc.