IBM tapped for DTV response


The FCC has awarded a $12M contract to set up a call center to handle consumer questions on DTV-Day, 2/17/09. It will be able to handle 2M agent-assisted calls within the first week. The FCC also says it’ll be able to take 400K calls the day after the transition. Estimates have put the total immediate call volume at 1.5M, so the FCC is hoping that local call centers will be able to drain off a considerable portion of total volume. It is also hoped that educational material from the FCC, broadcast on analog night-light stations remaining in operation after the DTV switch is thrown, will also head off a significant number of phone calls.

RBR/TVBR observation: If we were in Congress right now, instead of delaying the transition, we’d be huddling with the FCC to see if IBM can handle even more volume, and if there were other bidders with reasonable proposals that could be enlisted to handle even more volume. Democrats in the House have indicated that they’d be willing to throw $650M at the coupon problem. That’s probably much than is needed for coupons, so we’d divert some of it to call centers, where it will do the most good.