Consumers Swarm for Converter Coupons

The government’s program to give over-the-air TV viewers $40 coupons toward digital-to-analog converter boxes is off and running—with no hitches apparent so far.

As of Thursday morning, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration phones and Web site had taken about 725,000 requests for a total of nearly 1.4 million coupons, according to a spokesman for NTIA, which is in charge of the program.

At least one staffer at TV Technology. who relies exclusively on over-the-air TV, apparently succeeded in applying for the coupon through the Web site set up by NTIA for the process,

People can also apply for the coupons by calling 1-(800)-DTV-2009.

Also, the public is invited to a meeting on the converter box program Jan. 24. The meeting will run from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue N.W. (Room 4830) in Washington, D.C.

Space is limited, with admission on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In December, NTIA had started arranging a meeting Jan. 24 among federal agencies that was to be closed to the public.