Fcc Funds Aarp Switchover Program
The FCC is aiding the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in its effort to help older Americans who still receive television programs over the air to make the switch to digital TV. In a statement on Wednesday, Kevin Donnellan, chief communications officer at AARP, said. "Through a contract from the Federal Communications Commission, we are able to provide trained operators, implement a toll-free number and run a center that individuals can call for information and help as they prepare for the transition in their homes." Older individuals having difficulty hooking up converter boxes or who have questions about the switchover may call 877-698-8068 to speak to a trained operator in either English or Spanish. Meanwhile, with more than 421 stations switching to digital TV this week, the FCC and the National Association of Broadcasters are reporting little disruption. "A relatively small percentage of viewers so far have needed assistance," said Jonathan Collegio, who is overseeing the transition for the NAB. TV Week quoted the engineering director for Las Vegas stations KVCW and KVMV, owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, as saying that about 30 viewers had phoned the station about the switch. The GM of WRSP in Springfield, IL said his station had received about a dozen calls. And the Los Angeles Times quoted a receptionist at KSWB-TV in San Diego as saying that the station had received 20 calls. "I was expecting a lot more than this," she told the newspaper.