DTV Coupon Box Program Concludes With Bang

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The government's DTV-to-analog converter box coupon program ended with a spike, according to just-released figures from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which administered the program.

On July 31, the final day that coupon applications could be applied for, 169,000 requests came in, more than double the previous day's 78,000 and more than three times the average for the previous 30 days.

Coupons could be requested by mail as well as online and via phone, so NTIA continues to fill coupon requests from those postmarked by July 31.

As of 4 p.m. on Aug. 5, over 33.9 million coupons had been redeemed, or almost 500,000 more coupons than could have been covered by the original funding for the program, at least per the accounting rules applied to those funds.

The government still has a little over $300 million in funding for the program.

The $40 coupons, up to two per household, can be applied to converter boxes that allow analog TV sets to receive an over-the-air digital signal. According to Nielsen, about a milion households still are analog-only homes without converter boxes or digital TVs.