The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is handing out major cash endowments to public service organizations that can provide links to populations at risk of missing out on the DTV transition. An award to a civil rights group follows one granted to an elderly citizens’ advocacy. $1.65M is going to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, an action that follows $2.7M in funding given to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, for a total of $4.35M. The organizations will assist their constituencies with coupon procurement, with purchasing a digital-to-analog converter box; and even with getting it hooked up properly.
LCCREF is also making a special effort in seven markets with especially high at-risk populations, setting up special assistance centers and training local leaders in steps they can take toward assuring a successful transition. The markets include Atlanta; Detroit; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Portland OR; San Antonio TX; San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland; and Seattle-Tacoma.
RBR/TVBR observation: It is great that NTIA is able to enlist and help finance such organizations. This will be key in every market – the more knowledgeable people who can provide immediate on the ground assistance that broadcasters, local authorities and service groups can round up and make accessible, the better.