NTIA to Help Seniors With DTV Switch

The NTIA will donate $2.7 million in effort to help seniors with the DTV-to-analog transition.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration said Tuesday that it was giving $2.7 million to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging to help senior citizens make the transition to digital.

NTIA is in charge of the DTV-to-analog converter box subsidy program and seniors are one of the key target populations because they tend to have a greater percentage of over-the-air-only viewers, the ones who will need to do something or lose their TV service on Feb. 17, or even before in some markets where stations are switching earlier.

As of this week, stations can start shutting off analog and switching to digital so long as they inform viewers and the FCC.

“Vulnerable consumers will be helped with the technical assistance that n4a will provide,” said acting NTIA chief Meredith Baker of the grant. “They have the right mix of capacity, skills and experience—as well as trust and standing among seniors—to lead this effort to help older adults transition to digital television.”