Outsourcing outreach


The FCC is sending $8.4M to 12 different grassroots organizations to help keep the DTV endgame on track. Senior citizen advocate AARP leads the way among nationally-oriented services with over $2.7M. A four-state regional operation is getting over $2.8M.

The program is funded from the extra $20M Congress handed to the FCC to expedite the transition and the awardees all came through an RFP process initiated back in September 2008. Two other awardees offered nationally-based plans, as did AARP, one serving the deaf and the other serving Hispanics. The others were local or regional offerings.

Communication Service for the Deaf is getting over $1.1M, and Hispanic Information and Telecommunication Network is getting over $750K.

The top regional group is PinTech Corporation, serving numerous at-risk population groups in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Other states being served are Iowa, Idaho and Wisconsin. More market oriented programs serve Philadephia PA, Rochester NY, Houston TX, Columbus OH and Knox County TN.

RBR/TVBR observation: Five specific markets get a grassroots boost from the FCC. OK, you other 205, you’re on your own! We kid, but we’re not kidding the FCC in any way, shape or form – the Commission can only spend what Congress gives it. If there seem to be a few holes in this program, you can find their source on Capitol Hill.