FCC asks Congress for $313 million for fiscal year 2008

The FCC last week asked Congress for $313 million to fund operations for fiscal year 2008, 0.5 percent of which would be spent on efforts to educate the public about the DTV transition.

The proposed budget sets aside $1.5 million to fund a 2008 DTV outreach initiative to educate the public about the transition to digital television and the cessation of analog over-the-air television broadcasting.

The funds would be used to build on the commission's existing awareness efforts. The sum would fund the production and distribution of consumer information materials, public service announcements and Web material.

The FCC plans to produce "unbiased and technologically and competitively neutral information" to help consumers "knowledgeably" evaluate and purchase DTV products and services," the budget proposal said.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • use of the media, Internet, publications, and participation in forums, public events and community education programs;
  • working with broadcast associations like NAB and APTS to maximize distribution;
  • multimedia public service announcements;
  • features, news and feature article production and placement;
  • radio and TV satellite media tours;
  • expansion of the national DTV Web portal www.dtv.gov;
  • DTV publication printing and distribution at consumer-oriented conferences, such as the annual AARP "Life@50+" event and National Council of La Raza conferences; and
  • Expansion of the "DTV Deputy" program for children to teach kids about DTV.

To read the budget in its entirety visit: www.fcc.gov/Reports/fcc2008budget_complete.pdf.