President Urges DTV Readiness: Before It's Too Late

Says June 12 is the deadline and there will not be another delay

The President late Thursday put out a statement urging unprepared viewers to get ready for the DTV transition, saying emphatically that June 12 was going to be the deadline -- no more reprieves.

He also encouraged everyone to talk to help out friends and family to get ready: "before it's too late."

"One week from tomorrow – the nation’s full-power television stations will switch to all-digital programming," the president said in a statement released by the press office. "The transition to digital will free up airwaves for broadband and enhanced emergency communications for our police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

In February, I worked with Congress to postpone the deadline television broadcasters had to end their analog signals, because it was clear that millions of Americans would have been left in the dark if the conversion had gone on as planned. I directed key members of my Administration to reach out and help Americans, especially those in our most vulnerable communities, to make the switch to digital television.

In the months since then, we have worked hand in hand with state and local officials, broadcasters, and community groups to educate and assist millions of Americans with the transition. The number of households unprepared for digital television has been cut in half. Still, some people are not ready. I want to be clear: there will not be another delay.

I urge everyone who is not yet prepared to act today, so you don’t lose important news and emergency information on June 12. And I encourage all Americans who are prepared, to talk to their friends, family, and neighbors to make sure they get ready before it’s too late."

The White House has been relatively quiet about the transition since the president signed the bill moving the DTV transition date from Feb. 17 to June 12.

It was the Obama transition team, led by former NCTA chief Tom Wheeler, that pushed for moving the date after the National Telecommunications & Information Administration ran into an accounting problem that prevented it from filling millions of requests for $40 government subsidy coupons to help pay for DTV-to-analog converter boxes.

Those boxes allow analog only-viewers to still receive a TV signal when all full-powers have transitioned to digital on June 12.

According to Nielsen, about 3 million households remained unready for the transition with only a week and a half to go.