[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 143 (Thursday, July 24, 2008)]
[Pages 43211-43212]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-16903]



National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Docket Number: 080717848-8849-01

Instructions to Assist Manufacturers Submitting Notices of Intent 
(NOI) for Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes

AGENCY:  National Telecommunications and Information Administration

ACTION:  Notice


SUMMARY: This notice announces that manufacturers that intend to 
submit, for the first time, digital-to-analog converter boxes to the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for 
certification as part of the TV Converter Box Coupon Program (Coupon 
Program) must submit their Notice of Intent (NOI) before September 1, 
2008. Manufacturers who have to date received a certification notice 
for one or more converters (repeat manufacturers) have until September 
30, 2008 to submit their NOI for any additional digital-to-analog 
converter boxes for certification under the Coupon Program. The intent 
of this notice is to allow NTIA to better plan and anticipate

[[Page 43212]]

resource needs to process a finite group of converters.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Maureen Lewis, Technical Quality 
Liaison, TV Converter Box Coupon Program, [email protected], (202) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 15, 2007 NTIA published regulations 
to implement and administer a coupon program for digital-to-analog 
converter boxes.\1\ Among other things, the Final Rule specifies that 
manufacturers interested in participating in the coupon program must 
submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to NTIA. The regulations provide the 
necessary information to include in the NOI and also provide technical 
specifications and features required for a converter box to qualify for 
the coupon program.

    \1\ See Rules to Implement and Administer a Coupon Program for 
Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes (final Rule), 72 FR 12097 (March 
15, 2007).

    Manufacturers' strong interest in the TV Converter Box Coupon 
Program has resulted in the certification of more than 125 coupon 
eligible converter boxes (CECBs), a third of which include the analog 
pass-through feature. NTIA appreciates manufacturers' efforts to offer 
consumers a range of product choices that will enable them to 
experience the benefits of the digital transition. The rapid approach 
of the analog shut-down, however, necessitates that NTIA redeploy some 
of its limited resources to other important aspects of Program 
administration such as resolving consumer concerns and mitigating 
waste, fraud, and abuse. Therefore, this Notice provides manufacturers 
information to facilitate their planning for further program 
    NTIA informs manufacturers that first time manufacturers have until 
September 1, 2008 to submit a Notice of Intent for their digital-to-
analog converter boxes to ensure processing and certification in time 
to participate in the Coupon Program. Pursuant to NTIA's regulations, 
NOIs shall be submitted to NTIA at least three months prior to 
submission of the manufacturer's test report and samples.\2\ This time 
is needed to complete the lengthy process to test and validate each 
converter box. NTIA is establishing a cutoff date for NOIs to ensure 
that there is enough time to complete the certification process for 
converter boxes before the expiration of the Coupon Program. NTIA has 
found that the time and resources needed to review and complete the 
certification process with first-time manufacturers is often much 
greater than that needed to complete a technical review from a 
manufacturer that has successfully completed the process. By 
establishing September 1, 2008 as the last date for first-time 
manufacturers to submit NOIs, NTIA will be able to plan and anticipate 
resource needs to process a finite group of converters. NTIA reminds 
manufacturers the regulations also require that NOIs must include a 
brief description of the converter box, including permitted as well as 
required features.

    \2\ 47 C.F.R.Sec.  301.5(a).

    Therefore, after September 1, 2008, NTIA will only accept NOIs from 
repeat manufacturers, i.e., manufacturers that have, by that date, 
received a certification notice for one or more converters. These 
repeat manufacturers will have until September 30, 2008 to submit NOIs 
for any additional digital-to-analog converter boxes to NTIA for 
certification as part of the Coupon Program.
    Manufacturers who have submitted NOIs that are pending with NTIA as 
of the date of this Notice, are requested to submit complete test 
results associated with each pending NOI no later than September 30, 
2008. There are currently pending with NTIA many NOIs that indicate the 
manufacturer's intention to submit test results some months ago. In 
order to prompt manufacturers to complete and submit test results, NTIA 
establishes this end date. NTIA will close the file associated with any 
NOI which has not been followed by submission of completed test results 
by September 30, 2008.
    Additional guidance on testing or submission procedures may be 
provided on NTIA's web page under Manufacturers' Frequently Asked 
Questions, pursuant to Section 301.5(e), www.ntia.doc.gov.
    Questions about the procedure for submitting NOIs or other aspects 
of NTIA's technical certification process may be submitted to:
    Art Wall, Technical Advisor
    TV Converter Box Coupon Program
    US Department of Commerce
    Washington, DC 20230
    [email protected]

    Dated: July 18, 2008.
Meredith Atwell Baker,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
[FR Doc. E8-16903 Filed 7-23-08; 8:45 am]