The cliff effect is alive and well in many parts of rural America, and that’s not good. Households that were able to pull in analog broadcast television are finding they can’t duplicate the feat with digital signals, despite getting a converter box. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are proposing to do something about it.
They want to make that pockets of rural population on the wrong side of a digital cliff get access to TV by bringing the broadcast stations to them via repeaters. They say these can generally be built for between $80K-$100K, and are getting set to introduce the DTV Cliff Effect Assistance Act, which would provide broadcasters nationwide with $125M for this purpose.
Snowe, a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, commented, “By providing critical funding for the construction of digital broadcast towers, this legislation will close gaps in the digital coverage of full-power stations and ensure the upcoming transition is as seamless as possible for all Americans, regardless of where they live.”
“I have talked to many people in Maine who have purchased a converter box yet they still cannot receive a digital signal or they are experiencing a drastic decrease in service. This is simply unacceptable,” added Collins.
RBR/TVBR observation: We called for an action along these lines a few weeks ago. This is something that should be done. Go get ‘em, Senators!