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NAB to Establish National Hotline

Anticipating as many as 2 million DTV-related calls next February, NAB said Tuesday it will create a national hotline to answer calls from consumers about the transition.

NAB said that based on the results from the Sept. 8 early analog shut-off in Wilmington, N.C., and from the analog shut-off simulations already run by more than 400 local stations, about 2 million calls will come in the five days following Feb. 17, roughly half of which (1 million) would occur on Feb. 18.

NAB also proposed broadcasting a brief DTV educational video for local stations to run should they make use of the 30-day analog extension that is expected to be available for DTV education and emergency information. The bill enabling that option is awaiting President Bush’s expected signature.

The NAB hotline will supplement DTV hotlines sponsored by local television stations, state broadcast associations, pay television service providers, the Commerce Department’s coupon program and the FCC.