Citing opposition from Republicans, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee canceled its Wednesday meeting to consider legislation to delay the digital television (DTV) transmission deadline. The bill in question extends the transition date from February 17th to June 12th.
In a brief statement about the vote cancellation, committee chair Henry Waxman (D-California) again stated date-change advocates' position. "The transition to digital television is not going well. There is not enough money for the converter box coupon program and millions of Americans could experience serious problems," said Waxman. "Delay of the deadline is our only hope of lessening the impact on millions of consumers. Without a short, one-time extension, millions of households will lose all television reception."
One of the bill's opponents, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), claims that he would accept a short delay, only if the legislation allowed public safety organizations to access the analog TV spectrum per the original transition date's plans.
According to a recent Digital Tech Consulting report, there are enough DTV converters available for the estimated number of people that need them.
"We believe there is ample supply of nearly nine million boxes in retail warehouses and store shelves ready for an onslaught of last-minute buyers," said Myra Moore, project manager for DTC.
Source: E-Scrap News, January 23rd, 2009.