Digital TV Transition Postponed
Customers who rely on analog TVs will have four more months to prepare for the national transition to digital broadcasting, thanks to a bill passed in Congress Wednesday.
The new bill refers to the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, which mandated that all television stations cease broadcasting analog signals on February 17, 2009.
The original bill, however, contained a loophole that allowed Congress to delay the digital transition deadline to June 12, 2009.
The delay was passed in Senate last week, and the House voted Wednesday to secure the legislature.
The new bill also allows those who received government coupons for digital-to-analog converter boxes to reapply if their coupons expire.
However, the coupon program reached the cap of its funding in late December. Thus, customers applying for coupons are now placed on a waiting list pending the expansion of the program's funds.
Congress is currently considering an $800 million stimulus package proposed by President Barack Obama which would give an additional $650 million to the coupon program, according to USA Today.
Since early January, the waiting list has grown from 100,000 to nearly 3.5 million requests.