And in what might well be the greatest slap in literally EVERYBODY’S face, about three months after the government forced everybody in the United States to buy a converter box or never see over the air television again, they’re already thinking about going back on the deal and taking back some of the digital TV spectrum to develop a new wireless broadband system.
Here’s the really unpleasant part–seems that all the folks out there who bought new antennas and new TVs and converter boxes and such so they could continue to, you know, actually watch TV may just wind up getting screwed over in the end. If the government goes ahead and takes back the DTV spectrum, it’s entirely possible that some people will completely lose television. They’ll be literally required by federal mandate to sign up for cable or satellite if they want any television signal at all.
Oh, you want proof of such an outrage? Try this:
The Consumer Electronics Association weighed in with a study that found taking back the DTV spectrum would cost $12 billion in payments to broadcasters and another $9 million to “migrate all households that rely on over-the-air broadcasts to subscription services.” But it would also bring in $62 billion from new users. Bear in mind that the feds have just spent $2.15 billion to implement the DTV transition, which reached its climax on June 12, 2009.
Catch that? “Migrate all households that rely on over-the-air broadcasts to subscription services”. That means no more free TV. Not that it was really that free to begin with once all the upgrading was done.
I don’t look for this to end well.