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DTV Coupon Funds Could Run Out Before Switch, Agency Says

Sep 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration predicts that the federal government’s funds for DTV converter vouchers could run out by the end of January, just a few weeks short of the official analog shutdown, unless the NTIA receives more funds.
NTIA’s acting assistant secretary, Meredith Attwell Baker, made the prediction in response to a letter from the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. Earlier this week the congressmen asked why the issues were not addressed earlier.
Ms. Baker said the issue was not addressed at a July hearing before the Energy & Commerce Committee because NTIA was still in coupon pricing negotiations with IBM and could not make any projections with certainty.
The letter, as published by Broadcasting & Cable, said the NTIA will be able to distribute 44.5 million vouchers to the public through IBM with current funds, but that will money will run out at the end of January. Ms. Baker also said the organization can use $6 million of its own money to help fund the coupons but will still need an additional $7 million from the government in order to distribute 6 million more vouchers.
The projections take into consideration the current redemption rate of the coupons, which stands at about 49% after the vouchers’ 90-day expiration period, and the expected increase in requests as the DTV switch date nears.

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  1. I guess I should hurry up & order my coupon the huh?

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