The FCC’s pending deadline to switch off all analog TV broadcasting is “the biggest blunder to hit the communications industry since God knows when,” Ron Bruno tells Brad Hundt of the Observer-Reporter.

Bruno is the owner of Green Tree’s WBGN-TV, which operates a network of low-power TV stations around Western Pennsylvania. Low-power TV stations will not be switching to digital until 2012.

Because they’re not required to be carried by local cable systems, many of Bruno’s viewers can only watch via over-the-air reception. But if they upgrade to a digital tuner in preparation for next year’s switch, their set may block analog broadcasts.

Residents of Washington County who don’t want cable or satellite are also disgusted, Hundt reports. “I was talking to a friend and I was worried that I was going to have to get a whole new TV or get cable and spend hundreds of dollars I don’t have,” Jeffrey Tenney of Canton Township says.

“It’s like making me buy a yacht when you live in the desert,” Anita Janchenko of Canonsburg says.