The Santa Fe-Albuquerque region is "Not Ready for Digital," which makes it number one in the nation at twelve percent of households unprepared for the conversion from analog to digital television broadcasting. (Tenth is Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto at 7.3 percent of households unprepared.)
What does unprepared mean exactly? One of three things: without cable or satellite; without a post-2006 television; or without a digital converter box. The site to order the two $40 coupons for converter boxes is here, but there is now a waiting list. The program has already issued $1 billion worth of coupons.
The U.S. House of Representatives has defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from by four months. House Republicans succeeded in defeating a bill to delay the transition-- scheduled for Feb. 17--less than two days after the Senate unanimously passed the plan. The defeat is another setback for the Obama administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who fear too many Americans are not ready for the switchover.
The Nielsen Co. estimates more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog television sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals could see their TV sets go dark next month if the transition is not postponed.
As the NY Times noted today, "That so many viewers here and around the coutnry risk losing something as basic as a free television signal is a function, at least in part, of the government's failure to anticpate that those most affected would be among the nations' most frail and vulnerable." Well, perhaps, but that doesn't explain the surprise the government now expressed at how many people, frail or not, need the vouchers in the first place.