March 26, 2009

CARDIN, MIKULSKI, CARDIN ANNOUNCE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PROGRAM TO REPLACE EXPIRED DIGITAL TV CONVERTER BOX COUPONS

Program's Waiting List for Coupons Cleared as a Result of Funding Authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

WASHINGTON -  U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Department of Commerce has started accepting replacement requests from eligible households whose digital television converter box coupons expired without being redeemed. The deadline for nationwide conversion to digital television is June 12.   Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made it possible for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to clear its digital converter box coupon waiting list and process new requests.

 

"I am pleased that Congress has taken action to make it possible for people who had lost or expired TV converter box coupons to get an additional coupon," Senator Cardin said. "I urge Marylanders to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for a replacement coupon."

 

 "This is good news for Marylanders who were unable to redeem their coupons before they expired.  I'm pleased the Senate took quick action to make it easier for people to make the switch to digital TV, and to help ensure residents in rural and underserved areas are prepared for the transition from analog-to-digital television transmission," Senator Mikulski said.

 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided NTIA $650 million to issue at least 12.25 million more coupons, to start mailing coupons via first class mail and to ensure vulnerable populations are prepared for the transition from analog-to-digital television transmission. Applications are now being processed on a first come, first serve basis.

 

Households may apply for coupons online at www.DTV2009.gov, by phone at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009), via fax at 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632) or by mail to P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish TTY). Nursing home residents may apply with the paper application available downloadable at www.DTV2009.gov. For more information about the Coupon Program, please visit www.DTV2009.gov and for questions about the DTV transition, go to www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-CALL-FCC.

 

The DTV Delay Act established June 12, 2009, as the final date by which all full-power television stations in the country will be required to shut down analog broadcasts. Some stations and entire markets may choose to switch before then. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that, of the nation's nearly 1,800 full-power televisions stations, a total of 641 stations (36%) terminated their analog signals as of February 17, 2009. More information on the digital television transition is available by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or by going on-line to the Web site www.DTV.gov.