FCC Moves Up The Deadline For TVs To Go Digital
from the small-steps dept
The FCC claims it’s serious about getting broadcasters to move to digital TV, and they’re trying to prove it. While politicians argue in Congress over the real date of a final move, the FCC has moved up the date by which all new mid-sized TVs need to be able received digital signals. The goal, of course, is to get more TVs in the hands of customers that can receive digital over the air signals so that fewer people are impacted by the eventual forced switch. This topic gets a lot of noise — and it’s a bit more complex than most make out. For people who have cable or satellite TV, this isn’t really much of an issue. It’s really for people who just get traditional over-the-air television — which is a small, but still vocal group. Congress has suggested even putting up $1 billion to help people transition, but to do that, the TVs really need to be there. While $1 billion may sound like quite a bit, the government will more than get that back (society too…) after the government then takes back some of the massive portions of spectrum the broadcasters own to auction it off and use it for much more useful purposes (such as wireless communications). Of course, at the same time, with the recent ruling saying that the FCC has no mandate over television equipment in the broadcast flag situation, it would be interesting to see some make the claim that they have no mandate over this issue as well. Of course, in this case, most people would flip sides. It’s the broadcasters (the big fans of the broadcast flag) who are against any speeding up of the transition to digital, because they want to keep that valuable spectrum (which was given to them for free) for as long as possible.