[opendtv] DTV converter box plan to be unveiled

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 17:21:43 -0500

Interesting. So now there does appear to be a political angle to this
DTT transition. The Democrat-dominated Congress needs to show how badly
the previous Republican-dominated Congress had planned the transition,
so they will probably be more likely to request another deadline
extension. For dramatic effect.

The other new aspect implied here is that now the STB subsidies appear
to be linked to "need," rather than being on a first come first served
basis. (Depending what they mean by "qualify for the coupon program.")


DTV converter box plan to be unveiled

George Leopold
(03/09/2007 4:24 PM EST)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197801719

WASHINGTON - Under pressure from Congress to come up with rules for the
U.S. digital TV transition, the Bush administration will announce
guidelines for a converter box subsidy program on Monday (March 12).

The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) will announce a final rule for a $1.5 billion
coupon program designed to help qualified U.S. households obtain
digital-to-analog converter boxes. John Kneuer, assistant secretary of
commerce for communication and information, is scheduled to announce
details of the coupon program during a Monday briefing.

The subsidy program was created by the GOP-controlled Congress last year
to ensure that analog TVs won't "go dark" once U.S. analog broadcasting
ends in February 2009. "The converter box coupon program will assist
Americans in receiving over-the-air broadcast television programming
throughout the transition from analog to digital," the Commerce
Department said in a statement Friday.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, recently accused NTIA of dragging its feet in developing a
final rule for the converter box program. Dingell said technical
standards for the boxes have yet to be announced along with rules for
how consumers will qualify for the coupon program.

Among the outstanding issues, Dingell said, are how much personal
information applicants must disclose and whether retailers will maintain
sufficient supplies of converter boxes once technical specs are

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