Adelstein wants to link tech savvy with DTV needy


Addressing the Government Video Technology Expo in Washington, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said one of the key elements of a successful DTV transition will be creating a clear path leading citizens with questions to people with answers. “Now we are just going to need to establish a mechanism to link people like those of you willing to volunteer, or do this as part of your jobs, with those that need help. Amazingly, that hasn’t been done yet. But I’m working on ways to help make that happen.”

He said federal, state and local governments must join together and make sure such tech-teams are ready to spring into action in every single market. He called for an FCC phone force of 50 staffers and 50 contractors to be expanded to be able to handle 2M calls daily. He also wants more analog roadblock tests.

Adelstein noted that the Wilmington test was all well and good. But its over-air-only households are below the national average and its terrain is unchallenging. Plus, it received unprecedented individual attention from authorities that is not being repeated on a market-by-market basis. With that in mind, he thinks the potential for trouble on 2/17/09 remains high.

RBR/TVBR observation: Congress saw to it that the FCC was going to have to execute its part of the DTV transition on the cheap. We think it would be wise to slam through emergency legislation to make Adelstein’s phone banks a reality, not to mention enacting the pending analog night-light bill to direct left-behind citizens to help.