Rockefeller asks for four month delay


If legislation introduced by Senate Commerce Committee chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) makes it into law, analog television will have a new lease on life, at least until 6/12/09. He said he was worried about the bogged down coupon program and confusion among America’s most vulnerable citizens, including the poor, elderly, disabled, non-English speaking and rural.

“The outgoing Bush Administration has mismanaged this initiative and President-elect Obama has asked Congress to delay the date of the transition. Over two million Americans are waiting to receive a coupon to help them offset the cost of equipment that will help them manage the transition – millions more don’t have the proper information they need.”

In addition to allowing time to get the converter box coupon program back on track, Rockefeller’s bill would move toward establishing a phone response system capable of handling 1.5M calls in the short term after the deadline.

RBR/TVBR observation: This is not good news for general managers who have already left buckets of sweat over their monthly budgets. It will certainly make it safer for the small handful of citizens who will need to go on the roof to address antenna problems, but otherwise, we believe this will just delay the inevitable. There will be a lot of pressure on Washington to make sure almost nobody is left behind in June if this bill makes it into law.