Energy and Commerce Committee Members Call on FCC to Take Immediate Action
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Citing concerns that millions of Americans may not be able to receive over-the-air digital TV signals, even with a digital converter box, without proper antenna placement, a bipartisan group of House Energy and Commerce Committee members are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to take immediate action to expand consumer education efforts.

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, joined Chairman John D. Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), and ten other members, to set out a list of specific actions they want the FCC to take in order to inform the public about the proper equipment needed to receive digital television signals before the DTV transition takes place in February 2009.


Rep. Markey said, "DTV consumer education efforts must extend to informing the public about how to overcome possible reception difficulties. National studies predict that without a correctly-orientated external antenna, a significant number of over-the-air only households may loose television channel reception even with a digital converter box.  Americans know a change is coming to their TV sets, but they need to be fully aware of how to receive the new signal, or else this transition will be a disaster for millions of families."


 The members' letter asks the FCC to take the following actions:


  • Establish a public/private/non-profit sector information campaign which focuses on the need for new antennas or adjustments to existing antennas to receive digital TV broadcast signals,
  • Encourage Americans to act now to buy and install a DTV converter box, test the reception, and then take action to resolve any problems as soon as possible,
  • Update information on the FCC's website and other related government DTV websites to include in an obvious, accessible location a clear explanation of antenna matters, and
  • Expand the FCC's call center, especially in the weeks immediately proceeding the transition, to address questions concerning antenna matters.

The full letter is available here:


#  #  #


September 25, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836