Seniors Concerned About Higher Cable Costs

Analog v. Digital

Statement By James L. Martin

Arlington, VA – The 60 Plus Association supports efforts to inform seniors on the 2009 digital television transition. However, we are very concerned about the recent advertisements by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) which led older consumers to believe that NONE of their cable service channel line up will be interrupted after the broadcast digital transition. These ads, specifically targeting senior Americans who often live on a fixed income, are misleading if the only way seniors can be assured of uninterrupted service is to purchase more expensive digital cable service.

Older Americans often cannot afford the expense of upgraded digital service and without the commitment of continued carriage of all broadcast channels on analog cable will be denied valuable informational and entertainment programming that is relevant to their daily activities.

NCTA needs to live up to their own promises by agreeing to down convert all broadcast digital signals for analog cable customers post the digital transition or the Federal Communications Commission should preserve this important public interest by requiring them to do so. Then and only then can older Americans be confident that their cable provider is living up to its obligations and that they will receive the uninterrupted service that cable maintains through its new ad campaign that it will provide.