Deadline Extended for the Transition to Digital Broadcasting

Friday, 13 February 2009

All television stations were previously scheduled to stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting completely in digital on February 17. However, on February 4, Congress passed legislation extending this deadline to June 12, 2009. Television stations now have a choice to wait until June 12 to transition to digital broadcasting or make the transition at any point before then. Please contact your local television station directly to learn when they will make the switch.

How can your Fire Corps help? Continue to be proactive in your community and spread the word about the digital television transition. Your department may be uniquely suited to reaching those who might not understand how or why to make the transition, including the elderly or non-English speaking populations. Hang flyers around town and place reminders on the station’s marquee if possible. Have information readily available for first responders to distribute when they are working with the public. The DTV Transition Coalition lists three ways that people can transition to digital television:

  • Purchase digital-to-analog converter boxes. Prices start at around $40, and one will be needed for each analog television. Coupons to help pay for converter boxes can be requested by visiting www.dtv2009.gov. The newly passed bill extended the coupon program to July 31, 2009.

  • Subscribe to a cable, satellite, or telecommunications provider. Most companies have packages that include local news stations.

  • Purchase a new television with a built in digital tuner.

The extended deadline provides the perfect opportunity for your Fire Corps team to reach out to your community if you have not already done so. For more information, visit www.dtvtransition.org. The web site includes a link to view all the information in Spanish.

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