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Help, My Analog Signal Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up! - Broadcasting & Cable

Help, My Analog Signal Has Fallen and Can’t Get Up!

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The FCC and National Telecommunications & Information Administration Thursday provided a laundry list of efforts they have undertaken, and will continue to undertake, to try and make the DTV transition as smooth as possible, and prepare as many analog-only viewers as they can–particularly among at-risk populations like the elderly, low income and minorities.

Here is their tale of the DTV tape, plus numbers and Web addresses for help on everything from re-scanning a box to finding out where new channels are and old channels aren’t. (Click here for complete coverage of the DTV transition.)

• Distribution of 59 million $40 coupons for TV converter boxes

• Redemption of nearly 31 million coupons

• Continued availability of TV converter box coupons for consumers who apply up until July 31, while supplies last, at www.dtv2009.gov, 1-888-DTV-2009, and also by fax and mail

• Establishment of over 600 walk-in centers providing hands-on help

• Assistance for consumers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing through Communication Services for the Deaf at 1-877-388-4968, 1-877-889-4279 (TTY), 1-866-351-1950 (video phone), 1-888-CALL-FCC, and www.c-s-d.org

• Capacity for up to 200,000 home installations of converter boxes by FCC contractors

• Home installation of converter boxes by AmeriCorps volunteers in 30 markets

• In-home installation available from 57 fire departments nationwide

• In-home and walk-in services available through June, and in some cases, through July

• Toll-free call center, 1-888-CALL-FCC, which expanded to 24-hour operations yesterday, with 4,000 agents on duty over the next few days

• Over 200 FCC employees sent to every state and every market in the country to educate the public about preparing for the transition

• Help with applying for coupons and installing converter boxes for more than 350,000 consumers in more than 180 cities provided by NTIA grantees, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), plus coupon donation programs in over 30 cities

• Over 50 visits by FCC Commissioners and Department of Commerce officials to markets nationwide

• Upgraded www.dtv.gov has received more than 24 million hits in May alone, providing consumer-friendly information about the transition

• Reception information searchable by zip code at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/

• Helpful “DTV Made Easy” brochure by Consumer’s Union, which became the most popular document on the DTV Website at http://www.dtv.gov/imagesnew/home_ban_cu_brochure.jpg

• Extensive media outreach in home stretch, reaching 5,000 media outlets with releases detailing local statistics and events, satellite media tours reaching 18 target markets, radio actualities reaching 5,000 stations, daily “countdown” releases generating press coverage, radio PSAs in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Simple Chinese, and more

• Engagement of more than 1300 community-based organizations serving at-risk populations to educate consumers on DTV readiness

• Collaboration with hundreds of local elected officials serving at-risk populations to ensure their constituents know about the extensive help available to get ready

• NTIA’s Mobile Assistance Centers - DTV clinics on wheels -at more than 211 events, helping close to 38,000 consumers with more than 5,700 coupon applications and distributing 31,000 pieces of information

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