House Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said while President Bush’s budget proposal would increase the FCC’s budget for consumer outreach on the DTV transition, he is concerned about the size of the increase, calling it too small.
“The president has proposed an additional $20 million for educating consumers about digital television. When added to the original $5 million that was allotted by the Republican Congress that enacted this program, this is far too little to educate a nation of 300 million people.
“Television is the primary means by which the public receives news concerning public safety and national security, so public awareness of the digital television transition is critical. If we are truly concerned about the safety and security of our nation, we should not be attempting this transition on the cheap.”
Dingell also predicted Congress would block attempts to eliminate Public Telecommunications Facilities, Planning and Construction grants in 2009 and proposed cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.