A bit ago (actually before the recent elections) I got a call in the evening that I mistakenly thought was from one of Isaac’s guitar buddies — so I ignored the caller ID and picked up. Oops. Instead, it was from a political survey group. They wanted to ask my opinions about digital TV, which was just geeky enough to keep me on the phone.
At first the questions were simple: did I know what digital television was, did I know what HDTV meant, etc. Then they got around to asking me about changing FCC regulations for TV and digital TV.
First, the woman asked me if I was aware that the radio spectrum currently being used by analog television signals could have been available to emergency-response workers like those who had died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and therefore would I support legislation to sell-off those frequencies and require the general public to switch over to digital frequencies so that emergency response workers could better protect us?
“Whaaaaa?” I wondered, “Why would we need to sell frequencies to anyone if they’re to be used for public emergency response?” — I asked her, but she responded that she had no idea, these were questions she was hired to ask but she didn’t make them up and wasn’t allowed to express an opinion.
“Do you really think government works that way?” I asked her, futilely. I decided to answer “NO” because the idea of “YES” just seemed so preposterous.
A minute later she asked another near-parallel, as the final question: would I support the sale of the frequencies currently being used for analog television signals to protect the healthcare of millions of aging Americans who without the funds from such a sale of public TV assets would be without protection in their later years?
“What sort of bizarre question is that?” I asked, “Is there a private company financing this survey? Is there an intended buyer?”
“Is that a ‘yes’?” she replied.
“No, it’s not. I’m dumbfounded, but that’s not a ‘yes’.”
“Well thank you then for your time, your responses along with those of other Americans like you will be used to help guide the future of telecommunications policy.” click
Anyone care to speculate on where this is coming from?