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NTIA Works to Clear Converter Box Coupon Backlog

The U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says that it’s finally getting a handle on the backlog of DTV converter box coupon requests.

According to NTIA figures, the organization has mailed out some 3.4 million coupons, but approximately 2.3 million television households still remain on its waiting list. Those 2.3 million household requests translate to approximately 4.1 million coupons.

“NTIA expects to eliminate the current waiting list within two to three weeks,” said Anna Gomez, acting NTIA administrator. “This is good news for the more than two million households on the waiting list, who soon will be able to enjoy the benefits of digital television broadcasting.”

The NTIA’s logjam was broken by the appropriation of additional funding for the program from Congress.

The current coupon fulfillment mailings address only the households that had been put on hold when the original funding dried up. There are still some potential digital television viewers who will have to wait for their converter box subsidies.

The NTIA pointed out that although the signing of the DTV Delay Act by the President on Feb. 11 gives it the authority to issue coupons to replace those that expired before they could be used, it is not now accepting replacement requests. However, a date for issuing replacements is expected to be announced in the near future.