DTV Date Switch Gains Momentum in DC

Fund to aid consumers' conversion has run dry; June 1 may be alternative
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 1:50 PM CST
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pressure from an influential consumer group and a change in attitudes on Capitol Hill may push back the mandated switch to digital television, Broadcasting & Cable reports. A letter from the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, to key lawmakers and the Bush and Obama administrations urges them to reconsider the Feb. 17 date because funding has run out for converter vouchers.

The letter suggests postponing the transition “until a plan is in place to minimize the number of consumers who will lose TV signals.” The chairman of the House committee overseeing the switch seems to be open to the idea. It “certainly warrants further discussion and may be a wise choice,” a spokesman said. June 1 has been floated as an alternate date.