Addressing members of the National Association of Broadcasters, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and House Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (DMA) laid out a variety of concerns with the ongoing transition toward digital television (DTV) services that include the need for aggressive public outreach, vigorous oversight, and adequate funding of the converter box subsidy program approved by Congress last year. In accordance with Congressional mandate, the DTV transition will end on February 17, 2009—the day on which the transmission of analog television signals to U.S. viewers will be shut off. While promising that his committee will “vigorously conduct oversight of the relative government agencies, as well as industry participants, to make this transition work well,” Markey voiced “serious doubts” as to whether the $1.5 billion allocated by Congress for converter boxes needed to play digital signals on analog sets is sufficient, as 20 million households rely exclusively on analog television signals. As Markey called for consumer outreach and education targeted specifically at elderly and minority populations, Dingell observed that “it’s going to be no small task to guide the public through the transition without cutting off millions of Americans from the widest source of local news and information.” Although the converter box coupon program is slated to begin in ten months, Dingell said that many unknowns remain, such as the date on which the boxes will be ready for distribution to the public and whether the supply of converter boxes will be adequate. Admitting that, “there’s a lot we don’t know,” Dingell asserted: “we can be sure of one thing: if the converter box [program] doesn’t proceed smoothly, a day of reckoning will come, and it will be a harsh day.”