New FCC Chairman blasts previous administration on handling of Digital Transition


Staff member
FCC leader Michael J. Copps criticises the previous Bush Administration in a Q and A with Los Angeles Times. Very interesting I say.

Copps, sporting a blue oxford shirt emblazoned with a Digital Television Transition logo, criticized the outreach efforts made under the Bush administration. President Obama postponed the date for the transition to June 12 from Feb. 17. That gave public agencies time to reach more homes.

In a visit Wednesday to The Times, Copps made a number of points:
How do you think the transition is going to go?

I think things are going to go considerably better than they would have gone had we gone ahead on Feb. 17.

They will not go as well as they would have gone had we been sufficiently serious about this four years ago instead of four months ago.

What was not being done to help people prepare?

No. 1, we should have done this in a more transitional phase rather than just all at one time, just like they did in the U.K. Second, we lacked any commitment to do any in-home assistance so that you could help provide assistance to people who were senior citizens, people with disabilities or people for whom English is not their primary language.

We lacked walk-in centers and help clinics. We didn't have an adequate coupon converter program. Our program ran out of money in January of this year. Had we gone ahead in February, we would have had a consumer backlash of considerable magnitude. Now there will still be some level of disruption, but it's better than it would have been.
and on the topic of converter box shortages,

There might be some spot shortages. Again, if there's a last-minute rush for these things or people buy them even if they don't need to, then you never know.

You have to realize that most of these things are built overseas. The production lines have been shut down. To start them up again takes weeks, and it would take weeks again to get them on ships across the blue waters to get here.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
That was interesting. The converter boxes are hot demand. I call Kmart (thanks to whoever it was who mentioned they were somehow affiliated with Sears now), and they had several three days ago. I called last night and they had just one left. I would think the smart stores are trying to gear up for the weekend when there should be a converter box run.


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Back in Feb, most of the converter makers had shut down then started again when more money was put in the coupon program.

I would not be surprised if they are shut down making them now, with just stocks still hitting the stores
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