Obama team to Push Back DTV Switchover?

The Obama Transition team has encouraged Congress to delay the impending DTV switchover.

After the initial shock (and relief) I was encouraged by what I read. According to the Washington Post, John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama presidential transition team wrote, “With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans [sic] exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively mandated analog cutoff date.”

I can only imagine what must be taking place in Congress right now. The cynical part of me wonders if TV manufacturers are in a panic as they stood to make money off this transition as they may sell less televisions if people have time to buy converter boxes.

SVTC expressed our concern over some of these same issues earlier this year when we released our factsheet on the DTV switchover: www.svtc.org/tvfactsheet.

Unfortunately, delaying the switch might just add to more confusion. As someone who has tried to understand this issue, even I have become confused by the commercials letting people know that even if they have a converter box, their TV might not work if they don’t have the right antennae.

From what I understand – if you rent and your landlord didn’t budget to replace the antennae, or if you can’t afford to replace it – you don’t get TV? Now, I am not going to pretend like television is a right guaranteed by our constitution, but it does play an important role – especially during emergencies.

In addition to hoping that the President-elect’s request is granted, maybe the administration will also take a serious look at the amount of e-waste which stands to be created by this change.

lauren Ornelas
Campaign Director
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

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