Senate chooses to delay DTV transition

The United States Senate has elected to delay next month’s scheduled transition to digital television until June 12 — at the earliest — as there is a large number of Americans who aren’t prepared for the switch.

Before President Obama officially became president on Jan. 20, he voiced concern over the pending switch, warning politicians that many Americans would be left out.  Furthermore, many Democrats in Congress also voiced concerns over the idea that many American TV owners have expired coupons that the government would need to re-issue prior to the switch.

In addition to the people who have expired coupons, there are around 2.5 million Americans who are on a growing wait list of people who need vouchers so they can make the transition.

"The Senate acted responsibly to give the Obama administration time to attempt to bring order to a mismanaged process," Senate Commerce Chairman John Rockefeller said in a statement.

The government will use analog signals for emergencies and other related uses, while Americans will need to either purchase a converter box or subscribe to digital or satellite TV.  Furthermore, AT&T and other companies also will use the public airwaves, after purchasing the rights during spectrum auctions hosted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the past.