Saturday, June 13, 2009

Early Returns

By the time I finish this post, the analog age will be over. But for now, I'll just deal with the information I have so far, and deal with the rest later.

In general, the terminations we've seen today seem to be going the way of earlier terminations - lots of calls, but mostly from people who need help with the process, not people who have been taken by surprise. As anyone familiar with human nature would guess, there've been plenty of procrastinators, with almost 320,000 coupon requests coming through on Thursday (that's a week or so without TV right there). Call volume to the FCC has been furious, with over 120,000 calls logged by 2 PM (the day before, there had been 37,187 calls by that time, but 149,206 for the whole day, which suggests a truly huge final number for Friday). In fact, they had to add another 1,200 operators after FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell tested the system and couldn't get through for 20 minutes.

But both at the FCC and at this No. Carolina call center, the calls were far more about rescanning, hookup problems and so forth. As stated above, a very small percentage of the callers were unaware of what was going on.

While I'm still curious to see what tomorrow brings (many stations waited until 11:59 to switch off), especially in Los Angeles with its 250,000 unprepared households, so far people appear to be taking this in stride.

More info tomorrow, including a special post collecting some sign-off ceremonies (although sadly none from Boston - I'm disappointed in us).

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