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FCC approves emergency analog broadcasts

updated 01:00 pm EST, Thu January 15, 2009

FCC OKs emerg. analog

The Federal Communications Commission has approved using over-the-air analog TV for critical broadcasts, if only on a temporary basis, Reuters reports. After the general transition to digital, people without digital converter boxes will still be able to see a notice in English and Spanish, directing them to a phone number with more information. Additionally, emergency information such as weather alerts will remain available over analog for 30 days after the transition date.

While the switchover is still scheduled for February 17th, Democrats in Congress are said to be pushing for a delay, with the fear that many people are not yet prepared. The government's converter box coupon program ran out of funding last week, leaving over two million people on a waiting list. A delay is also backed by incoming president Barack Obama, but opposed by Republicans, who say a delay would simply add to doubt and confusion. Phone carriers AT&T and Verizon have a particular interest in a quick transition, as they have together bought some $16 billion in spectrum licenses that cannot be used while analog TV fills airwaves.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Monstermind

    Joined: Dec 1969



    These lazy idiots who are complaining had over two years to get a digital box, and they did nothing. Morons like that don't deserve sympathy any more than they deserve a government handout so they can sit on their welfare-collecting asses and watch "Friends".

  1. cwsmith

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The FCC has not been entirely helpful to those who aren't technically minded. Who needs a converter box? For you and me the answer is pretty simple.

    If you get TV off the air (no cable or satellite) and you have an older analog TV (no built-in digital tuner), you need a box. But a lot of grandmothers are going to be caught without one.

    If you have cable, satellite, or a digital TV, you don't need a box. But a lot of people who don't need a box are buying them anyway, leaving not enough for the people who do.

    Try not to jump to conclusions too quickly. You know what they say when you a**-U-ME.

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