H. R. 2566
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 5, 2007
Mr. Engel introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce
To provide American consumers information about the broadcast television transition from an analog to a digital format.
This Act may be cited as the
National Digital Television Consumer
Labeling and consumer education
Section 330 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 330) is amended—
by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (e); and
by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsection:
Labeling and consumer education
Requirements for retail distributors and other vendors
Any retail distributor of any television receiving equipment described in section 303(s) that does not include a digital tuner shall—
effective 90 days after the date of enactment of the National Digital Television Consumer Education Act, place adjacent to each unit of such equipment that such distributor displays for sale or rent a consumer alert as provided by the manufacturer pursuant to paragraph (2), except that such distributor shall not be required to affix such label to the television screen on such equipment, as long as the label is—
in the close vicinity of, and associated with, the unit on display; and
clearly visible to consumers; and
effective 90 days after the enactment of the National Digital Television Consumer Education Act, provide information to consumers, on signs and in pamphlet form, in the display area for product categories that include any television receiving equipment described in section 303(s) that does not include a digital tuner television, sufficient to convey the information carried in the consumer advisory label. Such signs and pamphlets shall also include information on recycling old televisions, computer monitors, computer central processing units, fax machines, and scanners and other consumer electronics.
Effective 90 days after the date of enactment of the National Digital Television Consumer Education Act, any seller via direct mail, catalog, or electronic means, such as the Internet, of any television receiving equipment described in section 303(s) that does not include a digital tuner, shall include in clear and conspicuous print the consumer alert required by paragraph (2) at the point of display for the apparatus, or, if there is no display, at the point of sale. Such information shall also include information on recycling old televisions and other consumer electronics.
The consumer alert required by this paragraph shall display in clear and conspicuous print, the following consumer alert:
This TV has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation's transition to digital broadcasting. The TV should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1–888–225–5322 (TTY: 1–888–835–5322) or visit the Commission's digital television website at: www.dtv.gov.
Esta TV tiene sólo un sintonizador de emisión análogo y por lo tanto requerirá una caja de conversión después del 17 de febrero de 2009 para recibir emisiones de TV terrestre con una antena, debido a la transición nacional a la emisión de TV digital. Esta continuará funcionando igualmente con TV por cable, sistema de TV satélite, consolas de juegos, videograbadoras, reproductores de DVD y productos similares. Si requiere más información llame a la Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones al 1–888–225–5322 (TTY: 1–888–835–5322) o visite el sitio web de la Comisión en www.dtv.gov.
For devices other than television sets that are included in section 303(s) and that contain an analog tuner, but not a digital tuner, the Commission shall require the clear and conspicuous placement of a comparable consumer advisory label on such devices, as well as on the outside of the retail packaging of such devices.
Announcements and notices required
From November 1, 2007, through March 31, 2009—
each television broadcaster shall air, at a minimum, 120 seconds per day of public service announcements between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11:35 p.m., at variable time slots throughout the week, with at least half aired between the hours of 5 p.m. and 11:35 p.m.; and
any multichannel video program distributor shall include a notice in or with each periodic bill.
Content of announcements and notices
The announcements and notices required by this paragraph shall educate consumers about the deadline for termination of analog television broadcasting and the equipment options consumers have after such termination. Announcements aired and notices distributed after January 1, 2008, shall also educate consumers about the need for and availability of the converter box voucher program and the steps to redeem the voucher.
The Commission shall, after consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, create a DTV Transition Federal Advisory Committee to lead the effort to educate the public about the digital television transition and to ensure that the public knows the information described in paragraph (3)(B). Such consumer education shall commence no later than January 1, 2008.
The committee shall be composed of representatives from the following groups: commercial broadcasters, noncommercial broadcasters, cable operators, satellite providers, retailers and manufacturers of consumer electronics equipment, electronic recyclers, minority groups, Hispanic Americans, Americans whose primary language is not English, Americans with disabilities, Americans living in rural communities, general business, senior citizens, commercial advertising, and consumers in general.
Advisory committee role
The committee shall—
develop a comprehensive education plan for consumers regarding the digital television transition which includes—
specific and targeted messages to reach various consumer constituencies (such as low income, minorities, Spanish-speaking, and the elderly);
best methods to deliver the message to affected consumers;
implementation of the plan;
website information and toll-free numbers; and
information on recycling old televisions and other consumer electronics;
coordinate with stakeholders to ensure that the transition is properly implemented; and
report to Congress every 6 months on how the transition is progressing.
The advisory committee shall conduct its first meeting within 60 days after the date of enactment of the National Digital Television Consumer Education Act.
Commission information services
Toll-free line and website
The Commission’s toll-free number for consumers information and the Commission’s Internet website shall provide information concerning the digital television transition, in the English and Spanish languages, not later than January 1, 2008.
The Commission is authorized and required to use funds available for consumer information activities to obtain advertising in public transportation vehicles and facilities to provide information concerning the digital television transition.
Digital television consumer education grant program
Part C of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act is amended by inserting after section 158 (47 U.S.C. 942) the following new section:
Digital television consumer education grant program
The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information is authorized to establish a temporary grant program for the purpose of coordinating and leading a nationwide consumer education and outreach campaign regarding America’s conversion to digital television.
No later than January 1, 2008, and ending no earlier than March 31, 2009, the Assistant Secretary shall award a single grant from the program authorized by this section to one qualified entity.
For purposes of this section, the term
entity shall be a corporation, organized under section 501(c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that represents the interests of local
noncommercial television stations at the national level, and consults with
commercial broadcasters, consumer equipment manufacturers, electronics
retailers, cable and satellite operators, consumer groups, older Americans,
Hispanic Americans, Americans whose primary language is not English, Americans
with disabilities, and Americans living in rural communities.
Authorization of Appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2008. Such sums are authorized to remain available subject to subsection (e).
Expenditures for the grant program under this section shall terminate on March 31, 2009.