FCCLA, Best Buy to Spread DTV Word

The FCCLA is teaming up with Best Buy to get out the word on the digital-TV transition and the need for viewers to apply for DTV-to-analog converter-box coupons if they need them.

No, FCCLA is not the Federal Communications Commission's Los Angeles bureau, but instead the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a nonprofit group whose members are secondary-school students with a focus on volunteerism and the family.

At a news conference Wednesday marking the Oct. 6 date of 500 days and counting to the DTV-transition date of Feb. 17, 2009, John Kneuer, head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which is overseeing the subsidy program, announced that Best Buy was donating $50,000 to FCCLA for a contest to develop FCCLA outreach efforts in communities across the country.

The group claims 220,000 members in 7,000 chapters.

Best Buy will also enlist its Best Buy Blue Shirt sales associates and Geek Squad traveling tech-heads to help with the education program.

The NTIA and the FCC (the one without the LA at the end) have been under pressure from Capitol Hill to do more to educate the public about the transition, although the NTIA was only given $5 million for its campaign and the FCC nothing. The FCC asked Congress for $1.5 million, which has been bumped up to $2 million. Both agencies have long said that industry and outside groups will have to do the bulk of the educating.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.