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House Votes to Delay DTV Transition

The Digital Television Transition scheduled to take place 12 days from now has been postponed until June 12, 2009. On Wednesday the House passed a Senate bill 264 to 158, and President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

Critics of the February 17th deadline argued that without the delay, an estimated 6.5 million homes, including many  poor, elderly and disabled Americans, would be unprepared for the switch from analog to all-digital broadcasts.

FCC acting chairman Chairman Michael Copps said the delay provides the  government “an opportunity to do it better.”

The additional four months provided by the law affords urgently needed time for a more phased transition, including a consumer-friendly converter box coupon program, stepped-up consumer outreach and support — particularly for vulnerable populations — and dealing with coverage, antenna and reception issues that went too long unaddressed, Copps said.

For additional details and resources related to the transition, visit

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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