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Why is government forcing switch to digital televisions?

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2002

There is nothing, the federal government obviously believes, that is not within its purview as nanny for the nation.

The Federal Communications Commission last week decided that it needed to manipulate the broadcasting market and provide a new benefit for consumers. But it is one consumers don't need, aren't buying and in some cases probably cannot afford.

More importantly, it is none of the government's business.

Congress took it upon itself to direct that the nation switch to digital TV, which it apparently considers necessary for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the transition was occurring too slowly for bureaucrats, so the FCC decreed all television set manufacturers must include digital tuners in sets within the next five years.

Digital TV has clearer pictures and better sound. But most people get TV on cable or by satellite and don't need such tuners.

Nonetheless, they will have to pay the estimated $250 additional cost whether they use it or not.

Arrogance is too mild a word. This is an egregious misuse of power.

Consumers who are justifiably outraged, and questioning why their TV sets are subject to government dictates, should drop the remote and dial their representatives in Congress.

-- The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

Aug. 11



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