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Convert coupon program hits bumps

Wed, 06/11/2008 - 8:35am
Brian Santo

It appears that pavement is missing on some stretches of the road to the digital transition.

For starters, consumers are redeeming only four out of 10 converter box coupons before the coupons expire.

Furthermore, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which distributes the coupons, has no money for stamps to mail additional coupons – and it isn’t planning on asking for any additional funding.

Every household is due two, and only two, $40 coupons. Each coupon must be redeemed within 90 days.

The NTIA says that it has received requests for more than 16 million coupons thus far, from about 8.5 million consumers. About 3 million have been redeemed.

While some consumers may have allowed their coupons to lapse, there have been reports that some retail outlets have not kept enough stock of converter boxes. In the NTIA’s testimony before Congress yesterday, the organization said that this is not an endemic problem.

The issue of insufficient funds for postage would come into play only if Congress were to allow consumers to apply for additional coupons.

More Broadband Direct:

• Damn the economy: Verizon ramping up FiOS build out

• Convert coupon program hits bumps

• Suddenlink hires Menendez, Kutz

• Arris readying for splash at SCTE Expo

• Widevine builds on content security between devices

• Nortel allies with Alvarion, shifts focus to LTE

• In-Stat: Fixed broadband ops vulnerable to losing subs to WiMAX

• IntelliNet snares Azaire assets

• Broadband Briefs for 6/11/08

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