Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

DTV Delay: A Done Deal

The House is expected to vote Tuesday to delay the final transition to digital television in the U.S. from Feb. 17 to June 12, following the Senate?? unanimous passage of the legislation today.

Oddly, the bill does not appear to contain any new money (the text of the bill as passed was not available as of this writing) to subsidize the purchase of of converter boxes that will allow analog TVs to receive digital signals after the switchover. The exhaustion of funds for the $40 coupons was the ostensible reason for the delay. The bill does, however, give new life to coupons that were ordered but not used as required within 90 days. My local BestBuy had enormous piles of converters available for $50 (before coupon) last weekend.

The big question remains what is going to happen come June. Chances are the small minority of Americans who aren't ready for the switch now won't be any more ready come June. But further delay would be problematic. Verizon Wireless and AT&T bid nearly $20 billion for wireless spectrum that will be freed in the transition; they want the spectrum and the government needs the money. Meanwhile, spectrum that is supposed to be released for public safety use is also being held up. And broadcast stations are incurring extra costs to keep both their analog and digital signals on the air.

The transition to digital TV has been an extraordinarily long a bumpy road. The switch was set in motion by the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 and was originally scheduled to be complete by late 2006.

blog comments powered by Disqus