Despite a recent boost in federal government funding for the NTIA-administered digital TV (DTV) converter box coupon program, panelists at a House DTV transition hearing were warned that anticipated supplies of converter boxes may not be enough to meet demand through the June 12 DTV transition deadline. The disclosure by acting NTIA Administrator Anna Gomez represents the latest potential hurdle to confront the nationwide DTV conversion, which was postponed from February 17 to June 12 after the NTIA exhausted its funds for the converter box coupon program in January. While $650 million in economic stimulus funds approved for the coupon program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has enabled NTIA to resume coupon distribution, Gomez told House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) that, “if every coupon is redeemed, there won’t be sufficient boxes to meet demand” as suggested by statistics compiled by NTIA and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). Although the CEA estimates that 4.2 million converter box coupons will be redeemed by June 12, NTIA data points to more than 9.3 million coupons in circulation during that period. Based on a redemption rate of 60%, the NTIA expects that at least 5.5 million converter boxes will be required to satisfy demand— leaving a potential deficit of 1.3 million set-top boxes. While maintaining that “manufacturers and retailers will likely meet consumer demand for converter boxes and antenna through the end of the transition,” CEA President Gary Shapiro admitted, “we will not know for sure whether this is the case until the nation actually completes the transition.” If the supply of NTIA-approved converter boxes becomes an issue, however, Shapiro recommended that lawmakers consider allowing the coupons to be used for high-end converter boxes, “stripped down” DTVs, and cable or satellite services not currently covered by the coupon program. Boucher also stressed that, in spite of concerns over converter box supply, “there shall be no further postponement of the DTV transition.”