Feb 5 2009

Congress proves once again that they don't get it.

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In this article from The Baltimore Sun I see that Congress has postponed the digital cutover date from February 17th (my birthday) to June 12th (Two days after my brother's birthday). The rationale behind this move is that it will give the government more time to better prepare the US public for the switch. This is sort of like admitting that the US public is too stupid to realize that their old 12" Magnavox B&W portable TV from 1978 won't work any more. Frankly, I think that the point will be made abundantly clear once it doesn't work any more.

This sort of "Well, we have to consider the people who don't understand" crap is why we are one of only a THREE nations not on the Metric System (with Burma and Liberia). This is silly. We cling to a system that is inconsistent, antiquated, and non-standard becasue "it is too hard to understand." Remembering, of course that old people in Kazakhstan and children in Ethiopia both understand it just fine.

It isn't too hard to understand. It isn't too difficult to grasp the concept. It isn't too tough to figure out. The truth is: you are too lazy to change. And this is the real reason that they are delaying the switchover. Congress is too lazy to change. They are too lazy to make you change. And worse yet, they are too afraid to take something away from you even if it means it is better for you.

The broadcasters were ready for this switchover. The media companies were ready for this switchover. The internet and communications companies that were going to rush into the newly freed bandwidth were ready to take over. This delay - a delay that will cost BILLIONS to all the aforementioned entities - on behalf of a US public which could really care less because if they really cared they'd have made all the necessary preparations months ago, is just a irresponsibility on the part of the congresspeople.

Were I a conspiratorial sort (and I'm not) I'd think that this delay is a way to bankrupt or seriously hamper all the marginal players in the wireless broadband businesses who are swooping in to this bandwidth. I mean, the Sprints, and the MCIs and ATTs can afford to delay a few months. The additional expense is an inconvenience but it won't bankrupt them.

The little companies on the other hand who have bank loans and investors and contractors who will want to be paid on time even if they can't do the work will be crushed. Stillborn before they can even start. This stinks of major corporation meddling. I really can't believe that the congresspeople are so out of touch they think this is a good idea.

I guess because Saint Barrack has urged for this (because he must not understand the factors involved here either...unless the aforementioned conspiracy is valid) it must be done. Pheh. Listen. if anyone reads this, hold your leaders to some accountability. Don't let them tell you it is needed, but rather let them enact legislation that you ask for. Nobody asked for this delay but the leaders. There is no delay-the-digital-switchover Lobby, and there is no benefit to the U.S. public in delaying. Frankly, the only logical explanation I can come up with is that there must be something in it for the corporations and they have used their pet congresspeople to enact it. And I am loathe to contemplate that as a reality.