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NAB to NTIA: Stock Grocery Shelves with DTV-to-Analog Converter Boxes

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration already considered putting digital-TV-transition information on grocery-store receipts.

Now, the National Association of Broadcasters asked the NTIA to help get DTV-to-analog converter boxes into more grocery stores, particularly in rural areas far away from popular consumer-electronics chains -- Best Buy, RadioShack -- or superstores like Wal-Mart.

The NTIA is overseeing the government program supplying $40 coupons toward the purchase of those converter boxes, which are available at more than 16,000 stores.

Grocery-store chains can already qualify to carry the government-certified boxes so long as they have at least one year of experience in electronic retailing, according to the NAB. But there is also a waiver policy for smaller stores with "good cause."

In a letter to NTIA chief Meredith Atwell Baker, NAB president David Rehr said he understood concerns about trained staff or possibilities for fraud, but he also suggested that good cause would be "ensuring that stores in every community can provide their consumer with the ability to conveniently purchase equipment necessary to keep their television reception intact."

Rehr said the NAB was ready to help the NTIA promote the availability of that waiver for smaller stores or other outlets that don't meet the electronics retail experience.