Federal Communications Commission - Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program Recovery Plan
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce may use up to $90 million for consumer education and outreach related to the transition from analog to digital television broadcasts, and may transfer this amount to the Federal Communications Commission if deemed necessary and appropriate in order to aid a smooth transition to digital broadcasts by increasing awareness.
Activities will include contracts to organizations for programs to educate groups most at risk for losing television service. Such groups include senior citizens, minority communities, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and people living in tribal and rural areas. Program funds will also provide one-on-one assistance to vulnerable populations, including help with converter box installation.
The FCC's Strategic Plan identifies in its Media strategic goal the mandate to “facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery.” In keeping with this vision, the Commission developed the following objective for the program:
Conduct an outreach campaign to educate and inform consumers about the transition to digital television. The Commission will leverage its experiences with early transition efforts to
• partner with local, state, and tribal governments and community-based organizations for outreach and consumer assistance
• establish full-service walk-in help centers in local communities where consumers will receive answers to their transition questions, apply for converter box coupons, learn how to install and operate their converter box, and get assistance with respect to antenna and reception issues
• identify and train organizations that will provide in-home assistance services as trusted sources for consumers in communities throughout the country
• ensure the development and revision of timely consumer information based on consumer needs
• continue to provide Commission staff as “boots on the ground” for consumer education, action, and assistance.
Benefits to the American public include being fully prepared for over-the-air digital broadcasting, continued uninterrupted reception of vital news and emergency information from local television stations, and providing consumers with information and services to allow them to receive digital over-the-air signals without having to purchase expensive and unnecessary electronics equipment.
No Data Available
Schedule and Milestones
The transition of all full power broadcast stations to digital broadcasting must be completed by June 12, 2009. All milestones were developed with this deadline in mind.
|Release solicitations for basic in-home installations and call center assistance contracts, expert in-home installations, DTV walk-in help centers, and media services contracts.
|Walk-In Centers and In-Home installation assistance become operational from the beginning of May through the middle of May. Furthermore, in the latter part of May, the FCC will conduct a series of Satellite Media Tours to coincide with broadcasters’ national “soft test” simulating the termination of full-power analog broadcasting.
|End of vendor support for call center, walk-in centers and in-home installation assistance.
Projects and Activities
1. The Commission is using a variety of contracting mechanisms to establish walk-in help centers and provide in-home installation assistance.
2. The Commission is continuing to support both in-house and outsourced call center resources, providing the flexibility to target resources toward higher call volume which are likely around the June 12, 2009 digital transition deadline as well as for those markets where station transitions will occur prior to June 12th.
3. The Commission is continuing to provide “boots-on-the-ground” – Commission staff members traveling to every area of the country to work with local organizations and provide live demonstrations on how to prepare for the transition.
4. Media outreach and distribution efforts are being conducted in order to achieve widespread coverage of the transition and what consumers need to do to prepare.
5. Printed educational materials are being developed, produced and distributed, including materials in languages other than English, regarding the new DTV transition date and coupon program information.
6. The Commission’s DTV.gov website is being upgraded to make it more consumer-friendly. Information technology tools are being developed for the website as well as for use by DTV call center representatives.
7. Engineering and technical support will be provided for post-transition modifications to broadcast station licenses.
In response to Office of Management and Budget guidance for implementing the Recovery Act, the Commission’s Senior Management Council (SMC) began the risk review and mitigation process at its February 24, 2009 meeting. A three-pronged approach to meeting risk review and mitigation requirements was proposed. This approach, adopted by the SMC at its March 12 meeting, called for:
a. Review OMB’s risk framework
b. Review common government-wide accountability measures
c. Identify agency-specific risks
2. Prioritizing risk areas
3. Mitigating priority risks
Various reviews were conducted, risk areas prioritized, and mitigation activities determined. The following agency-specific risks were identified:
• Governance risks:
– Plans need to be developed before action. Plans must have:
• Clear assignments of responsibilities
• Timelines for accomplishment
• Meaningful performance measures
– Regular tracking of performance
• Need a system and executive agreement to routinely receive and utilize performance information so that performance information will be used in routine decision making and performance information will be the basis for ongoing modifications to the Recovery Act plans.
– Independent monitoring
• Should there be independent monitoring to assure meeting OMB’s requirement for Recovery Act focused audits and investigation?
• Resource risks:
– Will short-term deadlines for Recovery Act projects move staff, energy, and attention focus away from other ongoing improvement and compliance efforts?
– Does the Commission have the staffing resources necessary to sustain intense levels of activity under the deadlines for the DTV transition?
• Inefficiency risks:
– Given the way in which the Recovery Act assigned responsibilities for the DTV program to NTIA and FCC, will they be able to effectively coordinate efforts to minimize or eliminate duplications of effort and confusion for industry and consumers?
– Will the compressed time frames of the Recovery Act cause activities to be undertaken and money to be spent in less than optimal ways?
• Compliance risks:
– Contracting controls – does the Commission have the staff (both CO’s and COTRs) to carry out OMB requirements for:
• Competitive awards
• Timely awards
• Timely expenditures
– Financial controls – does the Commission have the staff to carry out OMB requirements for:
• Minimizing cost overruns
• Minimizing Improper payments
Combining the results from each of these reviews, the SMC prioritized its risk mitigation actions as shown below.
• Compliance risks:
– Contracting controls – lack sufficient staff to implement
• Identify hiring needs (Mitigation: Identify needs)
• Identify effective tactics for meeting needs in a timely manner (Mitigation: Identify approaches and consult with senior executives, OPM, and OMB about implementation)
• Governance risks:
– Get executive agreement to routinely receive and utilize performance information (Mitigation: Inform and train executives about Recovery Act obligations)
– Identify, develop, and implement a system that regularly puts performance information before key executives (Mitigation: Develo performance tracking system to supplement existing financial and contracting reporting tools.)
– Should there be independent monitoring to assure meeting OMB requirements for Recovery Act targeted audits and investigations? (Mitigation: Assigned for implementation)
• Inefficiency risks:
– Identify mechanisms to ensure full and open cooperation with NTIA to minimize or eliminate duplications of effort and/or confusion for the impacted industries and consumers (Mitigation: Daily meetings, information exchanges, and coordination efforts)
Cost and Performance Plan
Recipients of contracts awarded under this program will be identified and along with the amount of funds awarded to each and how those funds are spent. Contract recipients will report performance information, such as the number of customers served or installations completed. This information will be posted to the FCC’s Recovery Act web site.
Program managers at the FCC will be held accountable for achieving program goals through the Commission’s performance evaluation systems. Reports of program progress and performance in meeting identified milestones will be posted on the FCC Recovery Act web site.
Energy Efficiency Spending Plans
No funds in this program involve expenditures for energy efficiency or green building requirements.
Program Plan Award Types
No Data Available