Incredibly, the federal government is sending signals that it intends to postpone the switch to digital television signals again. Barack Obama, even before he was inaugurated, asked Congress to delay the changeover from Feb. 17 to June 12. Now the White House appears to be setting the stage for another postponement.
Anna Gomez, the acting assistant secretary for communications at the Commerce Department unit handling the switch, told a congressional subcommittee Thursday that the administration feels "concern" that there won't be enough digital-converterboxes to go around. Added Michael Copps, acting FCC chairman: "We are nowhere near out of the woods."This is a story whose main chapters have yet to be written." That's despite the government putting up another $650 million to subsidize the boxes, which aren't even necessary in the 90 percent of U.S. homes served by cable or satellite television. My guess is that the switch to digital will take place sometime midway through Chelsea Clinton's second presidential term.