NTIA runs out of DTV converter coupon funds

The government has run out of money authorized by Congress for DTV converter box coupons, and the public is now being placed on waiting lists to receive the $40 vouchers.

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the government agency administering the coupon program. On Jan. 5, the NTIA said that those on a waiting list will be mailed their coupons on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The NTIA instituted the policy on Jan. 4 because it had reached the $1.34 billion coupon authorization ceiling set by Congress for the coupon program. Despite having run out of money, funds previously allocated for coupons that have expired without being redeemed will be returned to the U.S. Treasury and used for those on the waiting list.

On Jan. 8, Meredith Attwell Baker, acting administrator of the NTIA, said the agency is working with Congress and other stakeholders “so coupons can be processed and mailed without further delay.”

Although the NTIA has reached the Congressional limit on the coupon funds, the agency expects to be able to issue several million more coupons during the course of the program.

For more information, visit www.ntia.doc.gov.