DTV coupon blues


A private citizen has had two unsatisfactory NTIA converter box coupon transactions, but this citizen is different than most. He has a broadcast resume stretching from 1980 through 2006. Here’s the story:

The DTV coupons have been an issue from day one. Having applied on opening day and receiving my coupons quickly, they promptly expired in May before I was able to find a single converter in a local store. Bear in mind that I live in Denver, a rather large metro area, and not in a small rural town. Upon learning that once the coupons expire there is no recourse, I disposed of them. In October I applied for coupons for a family member at their home address- the site shows they were sent but they were never received. Again, the site shows no recourse for undelivered coupons, either. An extension is useless in these two cases, but allowing a second application and a simple redemption verification before fulfillment, would solve at least these two issues. My question is this: how can the program be out of money if it is nearly impossible to redeem the coupons?
Mark Walker

Denver CO

Editor’s note: It’s not that NTIA ran out of cash, it’s that the potential expenditure of cash was recorded each time a coupon was sent out. The government will not spend a penny on any coupon not redeemed, but at the moment, those funds are “spent” on paper.