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NTIA Praised for Accepting Re-Applications for Converter Box Subsidy Coupons

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration got some shout-outs from Washington Tuesday for the news that it was accepting re-applications for DTV-to-analog converter box subsidy coupons that had expired.

"This announcement is great news for communities and families who have still not made the digital transition," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in a statement, which has been working with the agency to target minority and other DTV at-risk populations. "The coupon program is often the only resource and support for families attempting to convert their old televisions to digital and this change will inevitably help the millions of households who have not made the transition."

LCCR got $1.65 million from NTIA to identify unready households and help them get a coupon and a box and get it connected.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said she was encouraged by the news. "Allowing consumers to apply for replacement coupons was an important component of the digital transition bill that I worked on with Senator [Jay] Rockefeller," said Hutchison. "For instance, many Texans lost their DTV coupons when they were displaced during Hurricane Ike. With the coupon backlog eliminated and replacement coupons available, everyone who relies on over-the-air broadcasts now will have the opportunity to properly prepare for the DTV transition."