Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blunt: Vote against digital conversion delay was a vote for safety

The following news release was issued by Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt following his vote against extending the digital conversion date for four months. The delay failed to gain the needed two-thirds majority in the House:

Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt today voted against delaying the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting, recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

"My vote today was primarily about public safety," Blunt said. "Every day that goes by without this transition is another day that our firefighters, policemen and EMTs cannot effectively communicate.

"I'm glad the House defeated this unnecessary delay, but we need to do more to ease this change for consumers. TV stations are ready; first responders are ready; now, we need to continue to ensure that consumers are ready."

The transition to digital television was recommended by the 9/11 Commission to free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications and allows first responders nationwide to communicate on a unified public safety channel.

Blunt also supports legislation to help correct an accounting problem stemming from the way the government-established coupon program, developed to defray the consumer cost of purchasing digital converter boxes, is administered. If passed, the legislation will clear the current backlog of coupons.

Today's vote follows a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police expressing public safety concerns that a delay will cause.

The conversion to digital television only affects consumers receiving their television signal from over-the-air antennas instead of cable or satellite.


Anonymous said...

i never knew that digital transition affected more than just those w/o digital tv or converter boxes.. if our policemen, firefighters and emt's need it just as badly in order to communicate, then by all means we should let the transition push through. for me, not being able to watch tv is far less important than for our servicemen to communicate properly

Anonymous said...

Research will point out that the sell of the analog spectrum was part of the 1995 Budget Dificit Reduction Act. It wasn't until the 9-11 commission report that it was determined that first responders needed more ability to communicate between departments. Goodness Gracious, has everyone drank from the Obama Transition Koolaid. The whole point of the government reclaiming the analog spectrum was to make money. "Budget Deficit Reduction Act." It was six years later that the 911 commission requested and the government allocated a very small portion of this to be auctioned spectrum for first responders. Ironically, the Obama transition has first asked and now demanded a push back of the transition date. Yes, the government sold the real estate known as television spectrum, and now seeks to keep from turning over the title even though they have cashed the check.