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Shapiro: CE Biz Still Ready For DTV Deadline

3/26/2009 03:13:00 PM Eastern

Arlington, Va. — Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), told Congress today the nation will be fully prepared for the DTV transition to take place in June.

"I remain convinced that the nation will be fully prepared for a successful and consumer-friendly transition on June 12,” said Shapiro in testimony delivered before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Shapiro outlined the number of consumer educational efforts that CEA and industry partners have participated in for more than a decade, ensuring the nation is prepared for this historic transition. He explained that the country and the industry were ready for the original Feb. 17 transition date and remain prepared for the June 12 deadline.

With respect to converter-box inventory, Shapiro stated, "Through conversations with retailers and manufacturers, we believe inventory through the remainder of the transition will be robust and sufficient to cover projected demand over the next three months. But the marketplace is such that each retailer and box supplier makes independent decisions and this type of transition has no historical precedent."

And, he warned, the country, "can ill afford to delay the transition again. To do so would put at risk the many benefits that will accrue from the switch to digital — phenomenal amount of beachfront-quality spectrum for new licensed and unlicensed services, including sorely needed improvement to Internet access; better communications platforms for law enforcement and public safety; and almost $20 billion in auction revenues for the U.S. Treasury."

In closing, Shapiro said, "It is time to move on and to reap the overwhelming benefits of the transition. I urge you not to delay the final transition date beyond June 12."

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