FCC: US switch will be 'messy'

The switch of all U.S. televisions to digital will be messy, a federal communications official said urging broadcasters to step up local efforts to educate the public. Broadcasters have the most to lose if viewers’ screens fade to black when analogue signals are turned off, said Robert McDowell, a Republican on the five-member FCC, urging broadcasters to tailor informational campaigns to local markets.

Despite a wide-ranging education campaign by the government and broadcasters, consumers are likely to face glitches, McDowell said. “The transition will be messy … but we will get through it,” he said.

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