Digital TV Conversion

One thing that everyone concedes the government should manage is broadcast bandwidth. Now there may be arguments about whether bandwidth should be put up for auction, but that the government should be the agency that allocates bandwidth is not seriously questioned.

There are rational reasons for switching to digital television broadcasts. It frees up lower frequency bandwidth for mobile applications while allowing broadcast stations greater flexibility in providing programming.

If you have purchased a television recently, it can receive the ATSC signals. Older televisions must be re-fitting with a conversion boxes. The cost of such boxes run around $60. The government provides two coupons for $40 each to every household that requests them. While it is easy to see the need to aid lower income Americans to make the change, why is the coupon available to everyone? I can afford the conversion boxes and new television, why should the government be in the business of subsidizing my television needs?

It would have been easy to send two coupons to every household that filed taxes indicating income below some threshold. There could be additional programs to take care of those who fell through the cracks of that program. The fact that affluent people get free conversion box coupons is a small example of what governments do wrong.

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