03.25.2009 11:20 AM
NTIA Reboots DTV Converter Coupon Program
The DTV converter box coupon program is back on track now that the NTIA, the federal agency running the program, is now accepting re-issue requests from households with coupons that have expired.
The program had reached the limit of its funding on Jan. 4 and began placing all coupon requests on a wait list as of that date, with issuance of any additional coupons being based on expiration of previously issued coupons. The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided NTIA with an additional $650 million to cover the cost of at least 12.25 million more coupons and to pay for first class mailing of those coupons.
"This is very good news for Americans who were unable to redeem their coupons before they expired," said acting NTIA Administrator Anna Gomez. "With the backlog of applications now eliminated, consumers can apply for coupons and get assistance right away, allowing them to continue to receive important local television news and emergency information by purchasing a converter box at a reduced cost."
The NTIA also said that its waiting list was gone and that new requests are being fast-tracked with immediate processing upon receipt and a maximum turnaround time of nine business days.
"I urge all consumers who are still unprepared for the transition to act today to get their converter boxes and resolve any technical issues well ahead of the June 12 deadline," Gomez said. "Americans can start experiencing the benefits of digital television with more programming choices and clearer reception as soon as they hook up their converter box."