Senator Hutchison Commends Dept. of Commerce for Helping Nursing Homes with DTV Converter Box Program

September 16, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) today commended the U.S. Department of Commerce and Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez for allowing residents with post office boxes and those living in nursing homes to participate in the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program.  Previously, only residents with physical addresses could participate. This meant that those who rely on post office boxes for mail delivery as well as those living in licensed nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, and assisted living facilities were not eligible for the program.

“I commend Secretary Gutierrez for adding this much needed flexibility to the DTV converter box coupon program,” said Senator Hutchison.  “This will assist the thousands of Texans who receive their mail through post office box delivery or live in nursing homes to prepare for the digital television switch next year.”

Broadcasters are mandated to switch to digital television (DTV) signals by February 17, 2009.  The DTV transition will provide clearer pictures with increased programming and will free airwaves for emergency first responders and new wireless communications. A television connected to cable, satellite or other pay television service will not require a television converter box and will continue to function after February 17, 2009.

Congress ensured that a $1.5 billion converter box coupon program was created to assist households that view over-the-air broadcasts to continue to use their analog television sets after February 17, 2009.  The program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, which can be applied toward the cost of two eligible converter boxes.  The converter boxes are designed to allow televisions to continue to receive over-the-air broadcast signals after the transition.

For more information about the Coupon Program, please visit and for questions about the DTV transition, go to or call 1-888-CALL-FCC.



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