US Congress approved a delay from the planned February 17 shutdown of broadcast analog TV signals to a new deadline of June 12. The President is expected to sign the measure into law. From the Washington Post:
The Federal Communications Commission has said that centers set up to answer consumer questions about the conversion were understaffed and that the government needed more time.
“There’s no way we could have accomplished in the next 14 days what should have been done over the past 24 months,” said Michael J. Copps, acting FCC chairman.
The $40 coupon program for assisting citizens in purchasing digital TV converter boxes for their old analog TV sets (and computer analog TV tuners) is out of money. Additional money might be included in the stimulus package now under consideration.
Cable and satellite TV subscribers can keep using their old TVs. Here in New Mexico, many rural areas are served by lower power translator stations that might continue broadcasting analog for months and years past the June shutdown date.