WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and 20 other members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee expressed concerns to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) about the converter box coupon program, a critical part of the Digital Television (DTV) transition. On February 17, 2009, television signals across the nation will switch from analog to digital signals.

In order to help American consumers defray the cost of purchasing digital signal converter boxes, the NTIA is issuing coupons which will expire after 90 days. In their letter to the NTIA today, the representatives urged the NTIA to allow consumers to re-apply for coupons if they are not able to use their initial coupon within the 90 day window.

“The coupon program is key to ensuring that all American consumers are able to enjoy the benefits of the digital television conversion. For most coupon-users the 90 day window will likely suffice, but if consumers are unable to use the coupon in the allotted time, the NTIA should be flexible enough to allow those consumers to re-apply for coupons. This move would be consistent with the law and helpful for consumers,” said Rep. Markey.

Full text of the letter is available HERE.

February 12, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836