Obama Wants to Delay Digital TV Switch

Too many people unprepared, he tells Congress in letter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 7:32 PM CST
A cable box is seen on top of a television in Philadelphia in this May 30, 2007, file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)
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(Newser) – The push to delay pulling the plug on analog television gained an important convert today: Barack Obama. The president-elect's transition team sent a letter to Congress urging it to push back the Feb. 17 conversion date to all-digital TV, the Los Angeles Times reports. It cited in particular the Commerce Department's announcement that it has no more money left to provide $40 coupons to help people buy converter boxes.

But the letter also said that too many people, many of them poor or elderly, were simply unprepared for the switch. "With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively mandated analog cutoff date," wrote John Podesta, the head of the transition team.