In an effort to ensure that free television continues to be available to all Americans, a coalition of civil rights groups last week asked the Federal Communications Commission to require the industry to help low-income citizens buy digital TV sets.
No one relies more on over-the-air local television than low-income families, the coalition said in a filing at the FCC. The commission should ensure that uninterrupted television service to those needing it most-low-income families-ranks among the highest-priority goals of the DTV implementation process.
Continued access to free television is an issue because FCC DTV transition rules will force broadcasters to pull the plug on existing analog TV service when 85 percent of the homes in their communities are able to receive digital TV signals. According to the civil rights groups, that requirement will hurt low-income Americans the most because they are the least able to afford new DTV sets or converters.