Georgia County Government - October 2008 - (Page 87)

Feature Governor Joins U.S. Department of Commerce Urging Preparation for Digital TV Transition I n mid-August, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez urged consumers to prepare for the coming digital television transition by applying for coupons to be used toward the purchase of two digital-to-analog converter boxes. The transition requires fullpower television stations to cease analog broadcasts and switch to digital after Feb. 17, 2009. “An estimated 300,000 households in Georgia will be affected by the transition from analog to digital television, and we want to make sure each of these households is fully prepared,” said Governor Perdue. “I encourage all Georgia residents who may need a converter box to apply for coupons now, and redeem them within 90 days,” said Secretary Gutierrez. “By taking action now, over-the-air consumers will receive a better TV picture and more channels and will not lose their television service when the transition takes place in just six months.” According to the National Association of Broadcasters, 9.6 percent of households in Georgia use only analog television; the Atlanta metro area has 169,824 households using analog. In Georgia, more than 125,000 coupons have been redeemed, and in the Atlanta area, nearly 80,000 coupons have been redeemed to purchase converter boxes. Nationwide, more than 8.2 million coupons have been redeemed. With about four months to go before the transition, consumers receiving free over-the-air television on older model sets will need to act to ensure their televisions continue to work when broadcasting goes digital. Viewers that are connected to cable, satellite, or other pay television service do not need to take any action. Viewers with over-the-air television need to make one of three choices: they can connect their television to cable, satellite, or pay television service; they can replace it with a digital TV; or they may keep it working with a TV converter box. For consumers choosing the converter box option, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) TV Converter Box Coupon Program permits all households to request up to two coupons—each worth $40—toward the purchase of a certified converter box. Consumers can purchase a converter box at one of the more than 26,000 participating local, online or phone retailers. Coupon applications can take several weeks to process and mail so consumers opting to purchase a converter box should act now and call ahead to ensure the desired converter box are available. Boxes are selling between $45 and $70. The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 requires full-power television stations to cease analog broadcasts, and switch to digital after Feb. 17, 2009. The act also authorizes Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to create the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, which is funded by the $19 billion airwaves auction and not tax dollars. The transition offers consumers a clearer picture, more programming choices and will free-up the airwaves for better communications among emergency first responders and new telecommunications services. Some viewers watch programs over translators or other low-power stations, which may continue broadcasting analog signals after Feb. 17, 2009. Those viewers may wish to select a converter box that will pass through analog signals. Consumers may apply for coupons online at www.DTV2009. gov, by phone at 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009), via fax at 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632) or by mail to P.O. BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish TTY). Consumers will receive a list of eligible converter boxes and participating retailers with their coupons. Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed, and only one coupon can be used to purchase each coupon-eligible converter box. For more information about the coupon program is available at and for questions about the DTV transition, go to or call 1-888-CALL-FCC (225-5322). ■ OCTOBER 2008 87

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - October 2008

Georgia County Government - October 2008
President's Message
County Matters
South Georgia's Agricultural Heartland Welcomes Economic Diversity, High-Tech Research
What Do You Know About the State's 2008 Constitutional Amendments?
Union County's New Hope Clinic
Counties and the Law: U.S. Supreme Court Increases Burden on Defending Age Claims
Cyber Security Awareness
Are Animal Control Costs Out of Control?
Dave Wills Joins ACCG Staff
Executive DRIVE is the Pinnacle of Gwinnett's Leadership Institute
Preventative Medical Program Succeeds in Chatham County
DCA's Planning & Quality Growth Office Reveals New Regional Planning Approach
Implementation of Georgia's Security & Immigration Compliance Act
The Roundabout: Glynn County's Newest Approach to Traffic Management
Governor Urges Preparation for Digital TV Transition
The Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership
Wharton Named Program Director for Georgia Centers for Innovation
Army Ranger Turned Police Officer Attends CDP Training
ACCG Staff Attends National Conference of State Legislatures Summit
ACCG Editor, Forsyth County PIO Garner NACIO Awards
GDEcD News: Tourism Grants; Scan-Tech to Expand
Benefit News: GEBCorp Marks Eight Years of Retirement Benefits
Georgia's Courthouses and the American Renaissance
Extension News: Georgia 4-H Impacts Student Achievement, Leadership
Research Center: Best Methods for Creating Ordinances in Your County
CCAP Corner: Walter F. Rosso, Cusseta-Chattahoochee County
NACo News: Association Sponsors 'Green' Competitions
Beth Bradley Joins ACCG Staff
County Parade
Index of Advertising

Georgia County Government - October 2008