My first contribution to our series of essays by Boing Boing editors on GOOD—a fairly high-level explanation of why I wish Congress would just force the switch to digital television broadcasts—is online.
The televisions in 6.5 million American households will stop working when stations are forced to switch to the digital format–and I don't care.
Although it's been pushed back time and again (yesterday Congress postponed the transition deadline once more, from February 17th to June 12th), the switch from analog to digital television will happen eventually. When it does, valuable radio spectrum will be freed up for new uses, like "white space" wireless networking. (Think Super Wi-Fi.)
The Obama administration was behind the latest delay. It asked Congress to postpone the transition again, fearing that the 5.7 percent of American households without the proper digital-to-analog conversion boxes–boxes that can be had for free simply by requesting a voucher from the FCC–would wake up on the 17th, find themselves greeted by only static, and march in the streets.