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FCC Expands DTV-Education Efforts

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that it expanded its digital-TV-education efforts with new radio public-service announcements, billboards and transit ads.

The FCC said the PSAs would be provided to more than 11,000 radio stations. The billboards and transit ads will go up in 45 TV markets, with ads already in place in Philadelphia; Tampa, Fla.; San Francisco; and Seattle.

The ads will announce the "completion of the switch from analog to digital television on Feb. 17, 2009."

The FCC also announced officially that it will place a team of staffers in Wilmington, N.C., to help stations pulling the plug on analog early -- Sept. 8 -- and going to all-digital in an effort to help the commission gauge the impact of the switch. It will also place billboards there.

The agency also urged over-the-air viewers in Wilmington to "immediately" apply for government-issued coupons worth $40 toward the purchase of converter boxes that will allow them to watch those digital signals over analog TVs.

PSAs targeted to Wilimington were also cut by FCC chairman Kevin Martin and commissioner Michael Copps, who have been the lead commisisoners on the test there.