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Monday, January 05, 2009

Converter-box Program Running out of Money

The Feb. 17 transition from analog to digital television broadcasts looms and as many as 8 million households are still unprepared, but the government program that subsidizes crucial TV converter boxes is about to run out of money.

To subsidize the converter boxes, most of which cost between $40 and $80 and can be purchased without coupons, the government has been letting consumers request up to two $40 coupons per home. But any day now, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the arm of the Commerce Department in charge of administering the coupon program, expects to hit a $1.34 billion funding ceiling set by Congress.

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