Line for DTV coupons is 4 million long

converter-cardDespite the delay to June 12th for the digital TV switch, the line for $40 converter box coupons is miles and miles long. Uncle Sam is apparently printing up 100,000 coupons every day, but the waiting list is currently at 4 million.

It’s more of an issue of funding than anything else, in that the funding’s run out. The stimulus bill, once put into effect, will allow the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to get caught up within a couple weeks. The current coupons being printed are solely to replace expired coupons.

Not all TV markets (about 40%) are waiting until June 12th, either, and will be going all-digital tomorrow, February 17th. What’s more, the NTIA can’t give out coupons in anything but first come, first served order so people in various markets who haven’t gotten their boxes yet — California, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Vermont – might have to purchase a converter box out of pocket or take up… um… what’s that thing where you move your eyes over words? The left to right thing?

[AP/USA Today via Electronic House]