As deadline approaches consumer's readiness still unclear

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Digital Television (DTV) transition deadline looms, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, today asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their latest projections and plans for the digital switch-over on February 17, 2009.

Rep. Markey said, "With less than two months until the deadline, we need to make sure the nation is on track for a successful transition. I remain concerned that a high demand for coupons, consumer confusion, and lack of converter box availability and call center capability may jeopardize success. The FCC and NTIA are tasked with ensuring that the public is fully aware of how to receive the new digital signal. Today I am requesting prompt answers from these agencies about their readiness and their latest projections on consumer demand and the need for additional efforts."

Rep. Markey's letter to the Honorable Meredith Baker of the NTIA can be found here: /imo/media/doc/20081219_dtv_ejm_to_baker.pdf

Rep. Markey's letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin can be found here: /imo/media/doc/20081219_dtv_ejm_to_martin.pdf

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December 19, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, (202) 225-2836