DTV Assistance Centers Launch Atlanta Coupon Exchange
ATLANTA - Coinciding with the three-months-out countdown to the digital television transition (DTV), the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) launched the Atlanta DTV coupon exchange program. Community members who do not need their converter box coupons can donate them to households in need by sending coupons to a new exchange program set up by the Atlanta area DTV Assistance Centers and local DTV Partners.
"You may have satellite or cable, but your neighbor may not. So if your household is eligible for coupons but won't need them, you can give these unused coupons to a neighbor, or send them in to the coupon exchange," said Bernita Smith, LCCREF's local DTV coordinator. The program will accept any coupon that is valid and has not expired - regardless of who ordered it. Coupons cannot be bought, sold, or exchanged for goods other than converter boxes.
Converter boxes cost approximately $40 to $70, and can be purchased at local retailers. The converter box is a one-time cost and does not come with any monthly fees. Consumers can use the government-issued coupons to offset the cost of these boxes.
"During these difficult economic times, there are many families struggling to get by," said Erica Swanson of LCCREF. "Many households have unused coupons that they do not need. Instead of throwing them in the trash, we are asking residents to donate them to at-risk members of the community who need them."
Communities of color, people who rely on languages other than English, low-income working families, elders, immigrants, and people with disabilities are more likely to rely on over-the-air TV for emergency public service announcements, and they will be most affected on June 12.
LCCREF is urging residents to act now before the DTV transition on June 12 changes the way millions of Americans watch TV. By donating unused converter box coupons, Atlantans can prevent televisions from going dark in June. Atlantans are urged to mail their unused coupons to the following address:
Atlanta DTV 2009
2020 Howell Mill Rd. - Suite C108
Atlanta, GA 30318
LCCREF has opened three DTV Assistance Centers in Atlanta - the Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda, the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, and the National Black Church Initiative - to assist impacted communities with the digital transition. The groups have also partnered with local organizations to provide DTV technical assistance, including Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Atlanta Regional Commission Office on Aging, and AARP Georgia.
For more information on how the DTV transition will impact vulnerable communities, visit: http://www.civilrights.org/dtv/. To order coupons or for more information on the DTV transition, go to: www.DTV2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009. For general questions about the transition, call 1-888-CALL-FCC. To learn more about DTV resources available to Atlanta residents, visit www.atlantadtv2009.com.