FCC Marshalls DTV Transition Forces With Drumbeats, Bootheels


The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it is doing all it can to prepare the country for the DTV transition hard date June 12.

"The Federal Communications Commission is providing boots on the ground, messages over the airwaves, help over the phone, and answers in cyberspace for consumers who still need," said the commission in announcing the "final push."

Those boots include FCC staffers as well as volunteers from AmeriCorps and firefighters.

The agency points out that, according to Nielsen, the percentage of households unready for the transition has been more than halved, from 5.7% in January to 2.7% today, according to Nielsen. That ratio still translates into over 3.1 million households.

"There is no doubt we've made significant progress in reducing the number of consumers unprepared for the transition, but our work is far from over," said FCC acting chairman Michael Copps in touting that preparedness push. "For many people, free, over-the-air television is their primary source of news, information and emergency alerts - not to mention entertainment. We will continue to do all that we can to find and assist these consumers in the final days before June 12.

The commission said it would issue a "drumbeat" of daily messages over the next 10 days to keep the media informed--and ideally informing others--about the key issues concerning the transition.

Tuesday's drumbeat comes a day before various stakeholders will provide it a progress report on DTV at the commission's monthly open meeting.