The chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee have asked the FCC to provide lawmakers with a comprehensive plan for educating the public about the digital television (DTV) transition, as they voiced concern that “lack of direction and focus will lead to needless confusion, leaving millions of Americans overly reliant on the good graces of industry to inform them of the steps they need to take to ensure their continuing access to free, over-the-air-local television.” In accordance with congressional mandate, analog television service throughout the U.S. will end on February 17, 2009, marking the end of the DTV transition. In a letter addressed to the FCC’s commissioners, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) hinted that the FCC has not fulfilled its responsibility of informing the public about the DTV transition, as they cited FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s recent remark that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the lead agency for DTV education. Asserting that “the time has come for the Commission to assume responsibility for developing, implementing, and overseeing a public outreach and consumer education program about the [DTV] transition,” Dingell and Markey asked the agency to submit by June 11 the specifics of a DTV outreach program that includes details on when it will begin and what steps the FCC will take to oversee industry outreach. Among other things, the lawmakers suggested that the FCC compel cable TV operators, broadcasters, and electronics manufacturers to take action by including notices in bills or airing public service announcements about the transition. Dingell and Markey also recommended that the FCC establish an advisory panel to reach out to state and local governments and work with the NTIA on the digital-to-analog converter box program. Describing these initiatives as “the floor, not the ceiling, of any consumer education campaign,” Dingell and Markey urged the agency to “think creatively about other mechanisms within its existing authority to educate consumers.”