APTS Applauds DTV Consumer Education Act

The Association of Public Television Stations has thrown its support behind a bill in Congress that promotes a comprehensive approach to educating the American public on the DTV transition.

Sponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the “National Digital Television Consumer Education Act” includes several provisions to increase consumer awareness of the analog shutoff on Feb. 17, 2009. It creates a DTV Transition Federal Advisory Committee that would provide leadership across industries, non-profits, and government for the transition. The bill also authorizes $20 million in funds to provide information about the transition to viewers of over the air broadcasts.

“We applaud Rep. Engel’s leadership in taking a comprehensive approach to consumer education,” said APTS President and CEO John Lawson. “It will greatly increase the odds that the DTV transition is successful.”

Rep. Engel said, “What I have been hearing from my constituents is a total confusion about the transition. But in less than two years, millions of TVs could stop working. This is why I introduced the National Digital Television Consumer Education Act. I believe it is the Federal Government’s obligation to educate the public as to what consumers need to do to prepare for this transition. I am pleased to know that the public broadcasters are supporting this important consumer protection bill and look forward to their continued support as I push for its passage in Congress.”