Senate approves DTV delay, House up next

The official Congressional delay of the digital TV transition is expected to come as early as today, as the House of Representatives is set to follow up on the Senate's approval of a delay of more than four months for the DTV transition. The Senate's unanimous vote supports delaying the transition until June 12, though broadcasters can make the migration off of their current airwaves sooner, which would some public safety companies aiming to use the vacated spectrum to do so sooner. An Associated Press story on the Senate vote says that the Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million U.S. households that currently have analog TV are not ready for the transition, though some observers have argued that the number is considerably lower.

President Obama called for the DTV delay earlier this month (when he was still just a President-elect) following news that the agency running the DTV coupon program, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, was under-funded and out of coupons. A coupon waiting list still has more than 2 million requests on it, as the NTIA attempts to recycle used coupons. Assuming the House follows the Senate approval, the NTIA also likely will get a funding boost as part of the delay.

For more:
- The Associated Press has this story

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The NTIA coupon supply ran low at the start of 2009