Maybe the gov't should've given the coupons a longer useful life-span, considering how difficult it was for people who ordered them when they first became available to find any converters at all in stock at local retailers. How often is it that early adopters get the shaft?
As for the deadline, the extension wasn't made mandatory, because the right-wing big-business-pwned members of Congress whined about the expense and "inconvenience" a delay would cause to those expecting to get their claws into the abandoned VHS bandwidth for commercial purposes. As it stands, much of that bandwidth is still "contaminated" by TV broadcasts in most areas of the country, and the public has been reminded once again just how our country's contentiously divided two-party system too often fails to do much more than flounder.
Why doesn't the NTIA just add another 6 months onto the expiration date of every card already issued, so we can go buy the converters now, and save the hassle of re-applying, the wait, and the manufacturing and mailing costs of replacing those unused hundreds of thousands of cards that expired prematurely, considering the converter supply problems? You tell me!