04.18.2007 12:00 AM
NAB2007: FCC's Copps Concerned About February 2009
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said at the NAB show this week he's concerned about the analog cut off coming up in 22 months. He called on all parties to ratchet up the consumer awareness campaign to help ensure that millions of potential households are not caught unaware.

Copps appeared at the Tuesday FCC Breakfast with the only other FCC commissioner to make the NAB confab this year, Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate. "I am really worried about this entire transition process," Copps said, because he believes many consumers still have no idea that their analog sets will cease to function on Feb. 18, 2009.

All new sets shipped in America are now supposed to have built-in ATSC tuners. However, given the longevity of most analog sets, there seems to be little doubt that a large percentage of consumers will still have analog units less than two years from now--especially that slice of the market that does not use cable, DBS or other nonterrestrial modes of delivery.

Some funds have been set aside by congress to subsidize the purchase of converter boxes, but Copps is concerned that the message about the overall technical transition is not getting out there yet.

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