Andy Inahtko has taken the time to scrape the inside of my skull on the great upcoming digital leap forward. It’s a swindle, a ripoff, and a bad idea poorly implemented. I sure hope there’s a giant shitstorm of angry consumers come February. I want to see pitchforks and torches and rails!

“ATSC is a badly bungled standard, badly implemented. It puts a hell of a tax on the poorest Americans.

Why is broadcast analog TV being shut down? Because those frequencies were auctioned off for private use. Rights to that bandwidth were sold to AT&T and Verizon last year for $19.6 billion.

There are some benefits to general consumers. Like real estate, the laws of physics aren’t manufacturing any additional usable bandwidth and occasionally, existing property must be “redeveloped.” The biggest chunk of the former analog-TV spectrum (termed “Block C” in the auction) was sold to Verizon with the proviso that it has to be used for an “open” network which can be joined and exploited by any compatible device from any maker.”