11/21/2008 1:59 AM
More federal funds are flowing toward the digital transition. Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a $2.7 million award for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) to help seniors keep their free over-the-air TV.
Services for seniors will include help applying for a converter box coupon and help with the actual installation of the boxes—a hurdle some viewers have had difficulty making.
“Vulnerable consumers will be helped with the technical assistance that n4a will provide,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, acting NTIA administrator. “They have the right mix of capacity, skills and experience—as well as trust and standing among seniors—to lead this effort to help older adults transition to digital television.”
The n4a will use the funds to assist seniors through the end of April 2009.
The association is partnering with organizations to form the Keeping Seniors Connected Coalition. That coalition includes the Meals on Wheels Association of America, the National Association for Hispanic Elderly, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging and the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged.
The n4a was also the lead national organization on a $5 million contract to coordinating assistance in promoting Medicare Part D enrollment.
NTIA said more than 18 million households have requested more than 35 million coupons, and more than 14 million coupons have been redeemed.