FCC Going on the Road for DTV
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin conducted a press conference Monday to address the state of the DTV transition six months prior to the cutoff of all analog TV broadcasts (with the exception of Wilmington, NC, which makes the switch in September).
Commissioner Martin announced a nationwide initiative to increase DTV awareness. The plan specifically targets 80 markets in which more than 100,000 households or 15-percent of households rely on over-the-air signals. The five FCC commissioners and staff will make personal visits to these markets to raise awareness and assist in consumer education. Martin said that the visits will include public events, workshops or commissioner roundtables plus meetings with local press. The FCC will work with local broadcasters and will especially try to reach demographics most vulnerable to the transition: seniors, tribal and rural residents, people with disabilities, low-income people, minorities and non-English speakers.
“One of the things we’ve learned from the efforts in Wilmington is it’s especially helpful to have people on the ground,” said Martin. Between now and the end of the year FCC staff will visit communities in Alaska, Maryland, California, Texas, Tennessee, New York, Idaho, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Illinois and Arizona. Martin noted that public awareness of the DTV transition has doubled since last year, but that there’s still a lot of work to do.