Viewpoint: Big Switch Extension

As you may already know, the U.S. Congress has extended the date of when the federally mandated switch to digital TV will take place. 
The original date for the “Big Switch” was February 17, a date broadcasters used literally millions, if not billions, of dollars worth of advertising time to promote and educate the public about. 
We anticipate President Obama will sign the bill into law, if he hasn’t already by the time you read this, allowing stations to keep their analog signal on for a few more months in order to get funding for more coupons to help people toward the cost of buying converter boxes and to otherwise get ready to receive digital only signals.
Some stations may opt to go ahead and turn off their analog channels off on February 17 since we are all already broadcasting both digitally and in analog and the cost in electricity alone is very significant, especially in these financially hard-pressed times.
Because we know there are several thousand people in our viewing area who have coupons on which the funding had run out, and additional others who need to install antennas in order to get our signal, WDAM has decided to postpone turning off our analog channel until a future date - possibly as long as the limit of June 12. 
We want as many people to be ready for the transition as possible; we will monitor the situation and give you ample notice of our intentions before we turn off our analog signal whether it is the maximum time or slightly sooner.
We know this is confusing. In fact, the whole issue has been a frustrating one for many. As we have told you plenty of times, if you are on cable, you have nothing to worry about. You will continue to receive us just as always. 
Our concern is for those who receive our signal off the air by antenna. You don’t need to wait just because the inevitable has been postponed. Get your digital ready television and/or converter boxes and antennas and make sure you can get our digital signal on 7.1 as soon as possible.
Again, WDAM plans to continue broadcasting on analog channel 7 beyond the original February 17 date. 
Since the President was the one who asked for this legislation, we assume he will sign it into law hastily. 
WDAM will keep you clearly posted on the air and on our website concerning our future plans.
I’m Jim Cameron for 7 On Your Side. As always let us hear from you.
Contact Jim Cameron at