TV transition program runs out of money
A federal program to help consumers convert their older analog television sets to receive digital broadcasts has run out of money, just weeks before the nation's TV broadcasters go all-digital.
The US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) had budgeted $1.34 billion for the program. The money pays for $40 coupons to defray the cost of converter boxes that let old sets receive digital TV signals.
Consumers who get their TV signals over the air through an antenna must make the switch by Feb. 17, when major US TV stations will halt their analog broadcasts and go all-digital.
But today the NTIA announced that it has run out of funding, even as consumers continue to apply for coupons. New applicants are being put on a waiting list and will be contacted if more funds become available.
(By Hiawatha Bray, Globe staff)