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Three Months Out, Millions Still Need Help to Make the Digital Transition

Today is the three-month out mark for the official digital TV transition deadline. While many Americans have taken action in the last few months, there are still an estimated 4.5 million households who are unprepared.

Recently the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which administers the government-sponsored coupon program, announced it had received funding to quickly draw down the coupon waiting list. To see how many coupons have been requested or redeemed, go to: https://www.dtv2009.gov/docs/Weekly_Stats_Report_en.pdf.

"Communities need to take action now before the June 12 deadline," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. "With less than three months before broadcasters turn off analog signals for good, people need to act quickly, set up their converter boxes, make sure that they work, and take care of any technical issues before their televisions go dark in June."

A recent Nielsen report shows 4.5 million U.S. households would be unable to receive television programming if the transition were to occur right now. To see how many homes in your city are unprepared for the DTV transition, by age group and ethnicity, go to: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/dtv-march-1-09.pdf.

Groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund have focused their efforts on traditionally hard-to-reach communities - people who speak a language other than English, the elderly, people with disabilities, and communities of color. Since launching our 7-city campaign, LCCREF partners and organizers have held more than 1,000 DTV trainings and events, provided technical training to more than 13,000 volunteers, and provided direct DTV assistance to nearly 20,000 impacted community members.

 

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