Wilmington Going Smoothly, Says FCC Chair

Sep 10, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told TVNewsday that Monday’s transition from analog to digital in Wilmington, N.C., is “going smoothly.” The first day of the transition, 797 area residents called a call center for help and information. On day two the amount of calls decreased by almost 50% to 424. “The results of the digital television switch in Wilmington shows that the collective efforts of the commission, the community and industry to inform viewers of the early transition in this local market were effective,” Martin said.
—Christopher Perez


  1. Wilmington, NC is supposed to have a population of about 91,000 and it generated a call percentage rate of about 1.34% over a two day period according to this article. I agree that overall this is a very low percentage but just as an FYI, if you apply these numbers to the US as a whole it means that between February 18th and 19th, 2009 about 4.02 million calls may be generated based on the fact that the current US population is 300 million.
    4.02 million seems like a fairly significant number.
    Granted, my numbers are not real scientific but are simply a percentage based comparison between the Wilmington and US population.

  2. Let me correct my earlier numbers. It would seem the (5) counties around Wilmington has around 400,000 viewers which equates to 0.3% hence using the same logic as above then only about 450,000 consumers would be having some type of problem during the two days following February 17th, 2009.
    The 450,000 number is based on a 300 million population and with an estimated (2) persons per household/viewer, if that makes sense.
    Just let it be known, though, that not all broadcasters are waiting until February 2009 to shut down to shut down their analog signals which confuses things even further.
    In Kansas, the ABC affiliate KLBY in Colby, KS has already shut down their analog transmitter on Ch. 4, within the last 60 days, and only their digital signal on UHF 17 remains.
    Also in Kansas, the NBC affiliate KSNC out of Great Bend, KS will be shutting off their analog Ch. 2 on or around Oct. 1st, 2008 and only their digital signal on UHF 22 will remain and the same NBC affiliate will also be shutting down their Ch. 8 analog transmitter on or around Nov. 26th, 2008 and only their VHF DT 12 will remain.
    Apparently, these (2) broadcasters received permission from the FCC to shut down their analog transmitters prior to the February 17th, 2008 date.
    Also, I’ve been told by the KOOD PBS station, that if their analog transmitters fail prior to February 2009 that they may not repair them.
    These types of things just make it even more confusing for consumers.

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