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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
February 4, 2007
(202) 289-8928
Panelists Confirmed for DTV Transition Event
February 15th Event to Feature Remarks from NTIA's Meredith Attwell Baker

WASHINGTON D.C. - Ensuring the digital television transition is successful remains a top concern for policymakers, as illustrated by the upcoming hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee to assess the state of the conversion. On Friday, February 15th, panelists will assess and discuss the plan at "Countdown to DTV: Making the 2009 Deadline Work," a congressional seminar hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation. The event will include opening remarks from Meredith Attwell Baker, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

In addition to remarks from Acting Assistant Secretary Baker, the panel will include an additional presenter from NTIA. The NTIA is responsible for implementing the coupon program to assist consumers in acquiring signal converter boxes. Also representing public sector in the discussion will be Rick Chessen, Senior Legal Advisor and Media Advisor in the Office of Commissioner Copps and the former chair of the FCC's Digital Television Task Force. Chessen is credited with helping to craft the DTV plan while with the FCC's Media Bureau.

David Donovan, President, Association for Maximum Service Television, will be representing the views of the broadcasting community. In addition to his policy work on behalf the broadcast industry, Donovan previously served at the FCC as legal advisor to the Mass Media Bureau Chief and interim mass media advisor to Commissioner Quello and legal advisor to the Mass Media Bureau Chief.

Debra Berlyn, President of Consumer Policy Solutions and consultant to AARP on the DTV issue, will bring the consumer perspective to the event. She is also Chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee. Prior to launching Consumer Policy Solutions, Berlyn advocated on behalf of AARP on communications and energy issues. The DTV transition is expected to particular affect older Americans who may not be reached by educational efforts.

The seminar will be moderated by Ken Ferree, President of The Progress & Freedom Foundation and former Chief of the FCC's Media Bureau. While at the FCC, Ferree and Bureau staff authored the initial proposal for the digital television migration.

"Countdown to DTV: Making the 2009 Deadline Work," will be held Friday, February 15th from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm in Room B-369 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Lunch will be served. Those interested in attending can register here. Media queries should be directed to Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or Others should contact Brooke Manno at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation