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DTV Call Center CAN Handle Calls

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DTV Call Center CAN Handle Calls

February 20, 2009
By Jessica Kostek
TMCnet Channel Editor
The call center works, everybody the call center works! Now, this could be just my little problem but, when I heard that the Federal Communications Commission announced that the federal call center, which was put in place to help viewers through the shutdown of analog broadcast TV signals by various stations this week, has been able to easily deal with the volume of calls so far, my immediate reaction was, “Great, that’s what it’s supposed to do.”

 
It is because it’s a government operation that actually went right? The switch from analog to digital, let us recall that turmoil: first there were problems with money, then the problem with the February time-line.
 
More than 28,000 people called 1-888-CALL-FCC (News - Alert) on Tuesday for help getting their TV sets working, the commission said.
 
According to the Associated Press, the call center was originally expected to handle 100,000 calls per day around Tuesday, when all U.S. full-power stations were supposed to give up on analog and although the deadline was pushed to June 12, 421 stations, a quarter of the total, elected to stay with the Feb. 17 date. Most big-city stations are holding off until June.
 
The FCC went on to say that since many of the 421 stations didn't shut down analog signals by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, more calls are expected Wednesday. And as predicted, by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, the federal call center reported that the volume was up five percent from the day before.
 
Many of the calls were from customers who didn't know they had to force their converter boxes or digital TV sets to "rescan" the airwaves to find stations that changed their channel assignments when dropping analog, the FCC said.
 
The abandonment of analog TV signals only affects sets that use antennas. Cable and satellite services are unaffected.
 
TV stations operated their own call centers or took calls from viewers on a less formal basis. None reported a storm of angry viewers. The National Association of Broadcasters said the DTV call center in Virginia, where two markets went digital, had only 150 calls on Tuesday.
 
So, good job federal call center that for some reason expected 100, 000 calls per day even though there were 44.9 million requests for converter coupons leading those with brains to conclude that there may have been and most likely will be more than 100,000 calls on any given day, especially when the real switch from analog to digital will happen in June.

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek
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