S. 2125 Preparing America's Seniors for the Digital Television Transition Act of 2007
On October 2, 2007, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced the Preparing America’s Seniors for the Digital Television Transition Act of 2007. The bill would formalize a partnership between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the Administration on Aging (AoA) with specific reporting requirements. The purpose of the partnership would be to coordinate with a diverse advisory board of stakeholders—representing broadcasters, aging advocates, disability groups, rural Americans, and state and local governments—to craft a national consumer education campaign targeting older individuals who depend on analog TV.
The legislation would establish a grant program to support non-profits and state and local government agencies, such as area agencies on aging, as they help seniors and other vulnerable populations navigate the transition and the coupon program, which was created by NTIA to help subsidize the cost of a converter box for analog televisions. The legislation also modifies the coupon program to ensure that households relying solely on over-the-air television sets are prioritized and that residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities are eligible to participate. Additionally, the bill would set requirements for the broadcasting industry, electronic manufacturers, and electronic retailers which include mandatory public service announcements; placement of easily identifiable labels on coupon-eligible converter boxes; and the maintenance of toll-free phone lines to help individuals with converter box installation. Finally, the legislation would set specific reporting requirements for both the NTIA and FCC in order to monitor the overall progress of the transition and the implementation of the coupon program.
* October 2, 2007 Introduced in US Senate
A study conducted by APTS determined that 61 percent of over-the-air households have “no idea” the DTV transition is taking place. A later study commissioned by APTS found that Americans aged 65 and older are consistently more likely to receive television signals via an over-the-air antenna than younger Americans, and are therefore less prepared to transition from analog to digital-only television. The study concluded that seniors should receive unique attention in efforts to educate the public about the impending DTV transition.
Sponsor: Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Association for Public Television Stations (APTS)
National Association of State Units on Aging
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs
Meals on Wheels Association of America