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NTIA Changes in DTV Coupon Rules for Nursing Homes

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration made it easier for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and intermediate care units to get coupons for DTV converter boxes.

Residents of such facilities were denied the $40 box subsidy under the original legislation.

"Allowing nursing home residents and households who rely on a post office box for their mail to request coupons helps those most in need to make the switch to digital television," said Carlos M. Gutierrez, U.S. Secretary of Commerce. "Ensuring that no one is left behind is our top priority and I encourage those who need a coupon to apply soon, and buy a converter box when their coupon arrives in the mail."

In applying for the subsidy coupons, these formerly excluded analog television set owners will be required to provide their names and the addresses of their care facilities, and to certify that they receive television service via an off-air antenna. Family members, or care facility staff may apply for one coupon for each resident, but the coupons will be mailed to the named individuals themselves.

Also, as part of the rule change, applicants who use a post office box for mail delivery may request two coupons through the normal application process; however, they will be required to provide their physical residence location.

The rule changes take place 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.