AARP Calls for Converter Subsidies

Mar 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The influential AARP has joined the call for government subsidies of converters for at least some of the 73 million analog TV sets that could go dark under Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton’s plan to force broadcasters to switch to digital TV by Dec. 31, 2006.

At hearings Thursday before the House telecommunications subcommittee, Lavada DeSalles, an AARP board member, said lawmakers must launch a major educational campaign at least a year in advance of a DTV transition deadline that would include radio and TV public service announcements, government mailings and mandatory warnings from retailers that analog-only TV receivers won’t be able to receive DTV signals without digital-to-analog converters.

Manuel Mirabal, founder of the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, testified that government subsidies of the converters are an “unavoidable price of the digital conversion.”