FCC May Need To Staff Up The Phone Lines To Deal With Digitial TV Transition
from the full-employment-act? dept
There has been plenty of concern over the past year, that the FCC isn’t really prepared for the shift from analog tv signals to digital tv signals that will happen early next year. While the recent switchover test in Wilmington, N.C. didn’t go that badly, the LA Times notes that the FCC still received calls from 797 residents in the city on the first day and 424 more on the second day. While the FCC points out that this is less than one-half of one percent of the 180,000 TV-viewing households the changeover impacted, this still should throw up some warning signs for the big switchover.
First of all, in the test region, the FCC did a much bigger education campaign than has been done nationwide. On top of that, the percentage of households in Wilmington impacted by the change (those who don’t use cable or satellite TV) was only 8%, compared to 12% in the rest of the country. Some quick and dirty math suggests this could mean somewhere just under a million calls to the FCC for the big changeover. While the FCC staffed up to take the calls, you’d have to imagine they’ll have to staff up a lot more to take a million calls over the course of a couple days. Perhaps they can hire all those telemarketers who the telemarketing industry insisted would be put out of work by the “Do Not Call” list…