This post (UPDATE: and title, I'm not really a fan of all caps) comes from friend-of-the-blog Chris. I totally agree with his overall thrust, though I'd be more diplomatic and not describe the problem as people not “get[ting] off their couches.” For that matter, I'm not sure getting this wrong counts as a huge mistake on the scale of mistakes, but Chris has a better idea of the costs involved here than I do. I've supplied links, and a really tiny bit of editing, and made the name of Chris's employer un-searchable (that's why there are slashes in it) but the rest is Chris's:

I am not happy about it, but I am going to have to agree with Kevin Martin on this one. The Obama camp would be making a huge mistake if they move the DTV transition date back. Rockefeller, Boucher and other supporters of the move on the Hill are correct when they point out that funding is gone and not everyone has received their converter boxes. It is true that the government has botched this transition form the beginning. The transition has already been in the works for ten years and they still were not able to get it right; six more months will not solve any problems.

I will not get into the fundamental issues as to why the DTV campaign has been so inept, but I will say that it could take as long as ten more years of wasted resources before the campaign reaches the level of competency that the Obama camp expects. I do not think it is ok that millions of people will be left without television come Feb 17th, but in a way once it happens, those that have been lazy and have not paid attention to all the ad campaigns will get off their couches and walk into the local Best Buy or Radio Shack, and those that cannot actually afford a converter box will notify local officials and then we will have an exact count of who needs immediate tech attention.

There is another HUGE reason why the transition date should not be pushed back and that reason has to do with the broadcasters. I'm currently working for a broadcasting company so it may seem that my views are skewed, but All/britt/on is a fairly large company that is currently making a lot of money. The costs imposed by an additional X months of simulcasting an analog and a digital signal will not make or break my company. The broadcasters that will be hurt the most are the small guys, the ones broadcasting in Albany, Georgia, or Duluth. The cost of extended simulcasting on these small local broadcasters will impose an extreme financial burden on these small stations struggling to stay afloat.

The Obama camp seems to fundamentally support the idea of localism and diversity within the media market place. That is why I think it is surprising that they are proposing a plan that will inevitably harm hundreds of small local broadcasters and threaten the future of localism and diversity indefinitely.

For those of you that care, I strongly urge you to write your local Congressman and Senator and ask them to stay the course. We need to be wise about where we allocate our money and resources in this economy and extending the DTV Transition is not a wise move.