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Digital TV means four to ten times as many channels for each and every broadcaster with no obligations to the public. The FCC quietly awarded broadcasters this colossal gift of public property worth $70-$80 billion during the Clinton administration back in 1996. In the 12 years since, under Democratic and Republican presidents alike, corporate broadcasters and their stooges at the FCC have diligently peddled the cover stories that digital TV is all about the advent of high definition television, and that the only nagging questions are how and whether enough converter boxes will be available for consumers who can't or won't buy brand new TVs.
What the FCC and broadcasters are actively concealing from the public is that digital broadcasting technology enables thousands of new digital TV channels on the public broadcast spectrum, all of which broadcasters have allocated to themselves without the inconvenient public scrutiny issuing thousands of new station licenses might have attracted. Thus minorities and women, local entrepreneurs, colleges and universities, community, civic and labor organizations and local governments who otherwise might acquire a portion of the new digital TV channels and used them to broadcast local news, arts, information and public service in hundreds of U.S. markets have been frozen out of the chance to serve the public over the public's airwaves without even the bother of public explanation or debate.