DIGITAL TELEVISION DEADLINE APPROACHES
The Digital Television Transition (DTT) and Public Safety Act of 2005 is a federal law that mandates that all television stations switch from analog broadcast to digital broadcast on February 17, 2009. The switch will affect the 34 million households that have at least one television that cannot receive the new broadcast signal, and many of those consumers may not be aware of the transition.
To help city officials educate constituents about the digital switch, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has developed an electronic toolkit for elected officials to help prepare constituents for the transition. The e-toolkit contains detailed information about the transition as well as coupons for television converters and instructions for recycling old televisions.
Elected officials still have one month to help constituents become aware of the transition and their options. These are three things a local government official can do:
- Be prepared to get the message out and explain the transition to your constituents. The electronic toolkit is available at: http://www.nab.org/xert/televisions/dtv_email/elected_officials_toolkit.html.
- Encourage your constituents to apply now for converter box coupons. Constituents can apply for up to two coupons per household online, by phone, fax, or US postal mail. Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed. Requests may be received by March 31, 2009. Additional information can be found at https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx.
- Invite a DTV speaker to a town hall meeting or community event. The National Association of Broadcasters Speakers Bureau can provide a speaker for your next local event at no cost. To schedule a speaker in your community, visit http://www.dtvanswers.com/dtv_speakersbureau.html.
The National League of Cities has also prepared a Web page for city officials who would like additional information: http://www.nlc.org/resources_for_cities/programs___services/dtvresources.aspx.