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CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI PREPARED REMARKS ON THE DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION, FCC OPEN MEETING, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 2, 2009

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Released: July 6, 2009

Chairman Julius Genachowski

Prepared Remarks on the Digital Television Transition

FCC Open Meeting, Washington, D.C.

July 2, 2009

Thank you for that presentation and to all the FCC staff who contributed to this effort for all
your hard work and dedication.
I know that individuals from every bureau and office at the Commission worked hard to
make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible for the millions of Americans who
watch free, over-the-air television. Many of you sacrificed time at home with friends and
family to help consumers prepare for the digital television age, and I thank you for your
service.
I also want to applaud your collaboration with one another, with outside partners such as
AmeriCorps, and with the Commerce Department and other key stakeholders across the
federal government. This collaboration enabled you to draw on the strengths and resources
throughout government to make a difference in peoples' lives. I look forward to building on
this spirit of innovation, collaboration, and service to American consumers in future FCC
initiatives.
Through your hard work and creativity, the Commission -- under the leadership of Acting
Chairman Copps in collaboration with Commissioners McDowell and Adelstein -- made
tremendous progress toward the FCC's goal of getting Americans prepared for this
important moment in television history. Thanks to the foresight of the Congress and
President Obama, you were given additional time to put together innovative programs and
mobilize the resources necessary to provide essential support to the American people.
Today we've heard about the million-plus calls our help center handled to walk consumers
through the steps necessary to become digital-ready. We've been updated about the 100,000
successful in-home installations that were performed over the last six weeks for Americans
who needed special assistance. And we've learned about the hundreds of FCC employees
who volunteered to head out to all corners of the country to offer in-person support where it
was most needed. All of these important elements led to the remarkable feat of cutting the
number of completely unprepared television households in half since February.
Thus, our country is much better off than it would have been had we made the transition on
February 17, and I applaud you for your excellent work.
But as Commissioner Copps has said on more than one occasion, our mission here is not yet
accomplished. Today's panel has reported that there are consumers and individual
broadcasters who still need our help. Therefore, I want to make clear that our doors and
phone lines remain open for consumers who need assistance in the days and weeks ahead.
We also will continue to collaborate with broadcasters to find the most effective and
efficient ways to improve their service, and we look forward to hearing their ideas.
To that end, I was pleased to hear that the bureaus and offices intend to continue to be vigilant and
aggressive in our DTV transition efforts. Rick Kaplan, I look forward to hearing from you and Bill
Lake in the coming days about the lessons learned to date and about the status of the transition as
we move forward.
-- FCC --
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