FCC Commissioner to visit Chicago for DTV Outreach

Posted by Mitchell - November 19, 2008 (entry 616)

As chronicled on the CMA spinoff website DTVRedAlert.org, the FCC has been engaged since September in an 81-city whistlestop tour to help raise awareness of the forthcoming digital television transition. (This despite the fact that a former FCC chair decried whistlestop tours as unnecessary in this age of digital media, but never mind.) Each FCC tour stop involves one of the current five sitting FCC commissioners, accompanied by staff, in one or more events to raise awareness about the conversion, and helping people who need to take action help them take action so that they don't lose their TV set after the transition on February 17, 2009.

Chicago is the next stop on this DTV whistlestop tour. The FCC gave Chicago a whole eight days of advance notice -- which as it happens is actually kind of generous; sometimes you get as little as five -- and the FCC will hold not one but two events during the day this Friday. Still, considering that an estimated 630,000 people in Chicago -- many of whom rank among the poorest and least able to act on the matter -- stand to be affected, it seems that two events on a single day by a single FCC commissioner seem paltry by comparison.

It's a sad story that could become tragic. On the DTVRedAlert.org website and blog, we document the sordid state of affairs with the digital transition and the problems that stand to accompany it. I swear, not another day goes by that we don't hear _another_ problem with the conversion or matters related to it. You know, everything still might end up just fine, but there'd have to be one hell of a change between now and Februrary 17.

As a public service (in the public interest, unlike the FCC *wink wink*), we repost the announcement from the FCC about the town halls here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2008
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Fisenne (202) 418-2502, Email: Susan.Fisenne (at) fcc.gov

COMMISSIONER TATE TO VISIT CHICAGO, ILLINOIS FOR DTV OUTREACH Visit is Part of Nationwide Tour Focusing on Markets with High Levels of Over-the-Air Television Viewers

Washington, DC–FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate announced she will visit Chicago, Illinois, on November 21st to hold two Town Halls on the digital television (DTV) transition. This visit is part of an extensive nationwide initiative the Commission has launched to increase awareness about the upcoming transition to digital television.

WHO: FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate
WHAT: Town Hall on the DTV Transition
WHEN: Friday, November 21, 2008, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM
WHERE: Northwest (Copernicus) Senior Center
3160 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
RSVP: Merrie Star, Regional Director
Email address: mstar (at) cityofchicago.org

WHO: FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate
WHAT: Town Hall on the DTV Transition
WHEN: Friday, November 21, 2008, 2:00PM –3:00PM
WHERE: Kennedy-King College
The Black Box Theater
740 West 63rd Street
The U Bldg (Between Halsted Street and Green Street)
Chicago, Illinois, 60621
Free parking is available in any of the four school parking lots
RSVP: Marv Dyson
Email address: Marvdyson (at) aol.com

The FCC identified target television markets for specific DTV outreach, including all those markets in which more than 100,000 households or at least 15% of the households rely solelyon over-the-air signals for television reception. The five FCC Commissioners and senior Commission staff will visit these and other markets to raise awareness and educate consumers in the days leading up to the DTV transition on February 17, 2009.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the accommodation you will need with as much detail as possible. Also include a waywe can contact you if we need more information. Please provide as much advance notice as possible; last minute requests will be accepted, but maybe impossible to fill. Send an e-mailto fcc504 (at) fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found on the Commission’s web site www.fcc.gov

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