FCC Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Jonathan Adelstein have added their voices to those calling for a delay in the digital transition.
They argue that implementation of government programs to prepare for the transition has been disjointed; consumer education has been inadequate; problems with reception were not anticipated, and were not adequately addressed since being discovered months ago; difficulties with closed captioning have been ignored; and call centers are unprepared for the expected deluge of questions come the date of the transition.
Adelstein and Copps – the two Democratic appointees on the Commission – listed these concerns and others in a letter sent to the chairmen of the House and Senate committees responsible for oversight of the digital transition.
For more than a year, Copps has been particularly blunt about the shortcomings of the government’s failure to adequately prepare for the digital transition.
The arguments elucidated by two Commissioners in the letter are being buttressed by consumer experience. An early switchover to digital in Hawaii elicited hundreds of calls from consumers, even from some people who were having no problem getting TV reception, swamping call centers (story here).
Meanwhile, the nation’s papers are beginning to see more and more letters such as one in today’s Oregonian in Portland, Ore., in which one consumer who has a converter box and an antenna mounted on his house, and who claims to be within four miles of a TV tower, says his reception of HDTV is spotty.
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