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April 7, 2009

Re:  Funding for Local Volunteers to Assist in Digital TV Conversion

Dear Mayor:

I have been asked to forward the following message on Behalf of Jeanne Fox, President of the NJ Board of Public Utilities.  Please share this time sensitive information immediately with your local volunteer organizations and seniors’ organizations.  This is an important opportunity to help address the conversion to digital television.

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

Dear Stakeholder:

I am writing to inform you of an opportunity to apply for grant funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that would enable you to directly assist low-income or disadvantaged clients with the impending conversion to DTV. $90 million is available through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in conjunction with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to enable organizations to provide in-home installation of DTV boxes and related services. But you will have to act quickly—the deadline is this Friday, April 9.

ARRA stimulus money is available to government agencies, educational institutions, public / private housing authorities, volunteer groups, and for-profit organizations to help low-income individuals, minority communities, non-English speaking consumers, senior citizens, or those with disabilities with basic in-home digital-to-analog converter box installation services. The NJBPU Office of Cable Television estimates that on June 12, 2009, the day for conversion from analog to digital broadcast television, 100,000 New Jerseyans will be left without any television service. OCTV also estimates that as many as four times that number will have only partial service, i.e. have only one digital-enabled television in the household and others not digital-enabled.

The eligible organizations listed above can apply for funding to cover paid employees or volunteers.
This assistance can include:
*connection of up to two existing digital-to-analog converter boxes
*providing a basic level of orienting/reorienting household antenna(s)
*scanning/rescanning the converter boxes for digital TV signals in the area
*providing basic guidance for operation of converter box(es).

Details on solicitation specifics and on the application process are available in the FCC's Public Notice at: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-689A1.pdf

Statement of Work and RFQ: http://www.fcc.gov/omd/contracts/pre-award/RFQ09000045.pdf.

Should you choose to apply for grant funding, please notify Peg Gallos at margaret.gallos@bpu.state.nj.us

Thank you,
Victoria

Victoria Fisher
Outreach Manager
NJ Board of Public Utilities
Two Gateway Center
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 648-4361
(973)648-3772(fax)
www.nj.gov/bpu

      

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