WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) released the following statement regarding the possible funding shortfall for the digital television (DTV) converter box program. Rep. Markey has led the Congress in questioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) about the status of their preparations for the digital television (DTV) switch-over on February 17, 2009.
"Consumers are greeting this new year with a new, cold reality - even though they have been advised by the government to get a coupon to prepare for the DTV transition, the Bush Administration is now telling applicants there is insufficient money to send a coupon out to them.
"The fact that the Bush Administration admitted only recently that it was now expecting to put applicants on waiting lists and might need addition funding for the overall program has left the prospects for a successful transition in jeopardy.
"This was a foreseeable problem and should have been anticipated long before last week. It simply will not make any sense to anybody that consumers are told that there is insufficient funding to give them a coupon and then hear later that the program ended with tens of millions of dollars left over.
"Congress should act with deliberate speed to address this waiting list issue and I will be urging my colleagues to do so as we convene the new Congress. And I urge the Bush Administration to reconsider its stated opposition to proposed remedies so that consumer interests are fully protected."
On December 26, 2008, Rep. Markey responded to letters from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) about the status of the converter box coupon program. Read more here: http://markey.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3501&Itemid=197
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2009
CONTACT: Daniel Reilly, (202) 225-2836