Crisis on the Horizon
Due to the Transition to Digital
Television - Millions could be left in the dark
The Transition to Digital
Television is a “Communication Crisis on the Horizon.” With the
advent of the permanent switch from analog to digital on Feb. 17,
2009, millions will be left in the dark if action is not taken
National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NTIA)
have committed fewer than $12 million dollars to date nation-wide in
the US (300 million population), to educate consumers about the
transition to digital television. Compared this number to the UK (60
million population), who has allocated $400 millions dollars over 5
years to educate their consumers. We need act quickly and act now.
The GAO (U.S.
Government Accountability Office) presented their report at the
Oversight of the DTV Transition: Countdown
to February 2009, September 23, 2008 on Capital Hill.
As an example of the major gaps that exist in the DTV program, they
analyzed participation in the converter box subsidy program. It
stated that the NTIA and FCC focused their consumer education
efforts on 45 target at-risk cities in the US. However, consumers
request for the $40 subsidy coupons in these target cities showed
no difference than the cities that were not targeted with their
educational efforts. In other words, no improvement due to their
specific outreach efforts in the at-risk cities. There is more:
– There are 35 million consumers who have over the air broadcasting
(rabbit ears/outside antennas)
- Currently the government has made over
$20 billion from spectrum
auction proceeds (auction off the
Fact – Less than
$12 million dollars has
been allocated for education/outreach,
Fact - the UK, with
60 million people, has allocated $400 million dollars for a 5 year
period to education their residents toward the Transition to Digital
- Over 9.5 million of the
requested $40 coupons for
digital converter boxes have expired and cannot be used again.
- African-American and
Hispanics have the highest
incidence of receiving the coupons and NOT purchasing the boxes to
- Without technical intervention, the underserved groups will be
hard pressed to be connected in time.
- Cable companies, like Comcast, have already targeted 2 million +
consumers who will be confused and perplexed regarding the
transition and woo them over to purchasing Pay-tv.
- underserved communities will be forced to make one or more of the
follow purchases: digital converters, buy a new antenna, buy a new
digital television, or sign up pay-tv.
What Can You Do To Help
Bridge the Gap?
Foundation is a project of United Charitable Programs, a registered
501(c)(3) public charity.”, public charity and has been
reaching out to the “underserved yet well deserved” communities to
guide them through the Transition to DTV maze. As we assist seniors,
minorities, disabled and rural communities in becoming digitally
connected, if you would like to support our organization contact
email@example.com or call DeeNice Rhodes