Thursday, January 8, 2009

Markey: Feb. 17 DTV Date May Have To Move

There is a digital coupon shortage. Many people, mainly those without cable, aren't thinking about or prepared for the digital conversion. Advertising messages in the beginning were confusing, so that cable customers without a set top box thought they needed to put converter boxes on every TV. And many fingers are being pointed.

Now a major consumer advocate, "Consumers Union (CU) late Wednesday asked the heads of the congressional committees with telecommunications oversight, as well as the current and future administrations, to consider delaying the Feb. 17, 2009 transition date." And Congress may be listening as Ed Markey, the Democratic Representative from Massachusetts and new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is looking hard at pushing back the February 17 date.

While digital converters cost less than an iPod, Congress does not want to force its citizens to purchase; the coupon could offset the entire price of a low end converter. But with problems moving out enough coupons and the transition date less than 6 weeks away, it is my guess that this delay will occur. But will it be 1 month, 6 months, or a year? "Consumers Union has suggested a move of four months or so, according to a CNBC interview with CU senior counsel Chris Murray, the other signature on the CU letter. Murray told CNBC that he thought there was a 'reasonably good chance' that Congress would push the date back four months or so. "

No comments:

Post a Comment