FCC to vote on plan to clear the way for ATSC 3.0 internet services

Monday, May 18th, 2020
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FCC To Vote On Carr’s Plan To Advance ‘Broadcast Internet’ Services

WASHINGTON, DC — FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr announced today that the FCC will vote on his plan to promote the build out of Broadcast Internet services. These are a range of innovative offerings that can be delivered over the same, powerful broadcast television spectrum that blankets U.S. communities today. These Broadcast Internet services are enabled by a new broadcast transmission standard known as ATSC 3.0 and delivered over an efficient one-to-many architecture.

“Broadcast Internet services are poised to offer a new and competitive broadband pipe,” Commissioner Carr stated. “These services can leverage the power and coverage of broadcast television spectrum to deliver high-speed, 25 Mbps Internet services,” Carr added.

“Broadcast Internet could play a pivotal role in autonomous vehicles, IoT, smart ag, and telemedicine, among other applications,” Carr noted. “These new Broadcast Internet offerings are part of a broader trend we’re seeing in communications. From innovative 5G offerings to high-capacity fixed services, providers from previously distinct sectors are competing like never before to offer high-speed Internet services through a mix of different technologies. ATSC 3.0 is the technology that will allow broadcasters to play an even greater role in this converged market for connectivity,” Carr added.

Commissioner Carr announced his plan at an event hosted today by NAB and CTA.

“To boost the build out of next-gen Broadcast Internet services, we should remove the overhang of legacy media regulations,” Carr said. “The FCC will be voting on a measure that does just that.”

“NAB is grateful for the Commission’s ongoing support for NEXTGEN TV,” said Dennis Wharton, Executive Vice President, Communications at the National Association of Broadcasters. “Broadcasters are eager to leverage the ATSC 3.0 platform and the opportunities it affords to provide new and innovative services for consumers across the nation, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Commission as broadcasters explore the full potential of this technology.”

“We appreciate the FCC’s support for NEXTGEN TV and Commissioner Carr’s focus on the future capabilities of this technology,” said Jamie Susskind, Vice President, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®. “The transition to NEXTGEN TV brings a new era of TV innovation, giving consumers more anytime/anywhere access to immersive video features and interactivity. And the ATSC 3.0 platform gives broadcasters, developers and businesses new opportunities for future innovations in app development, revenue streams, programming and local emergency alerts.”

The FCC will vote on the item—a Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking—at its June Open Meeting.

  • The Declaratory Ruling would ensure that Broadcast Internet services are not weighed down by legacy media regulations by clarifying that the FCC’s broadcast television station ownership rules do not apply to leasing arrangements between broadcasters and third parties for the provision of Broadcast Internet services. This will help ensure that market forces determine the highest and best use of Broadcast Internet services and allow innovators to generate the geographic footprint that may be needed to deliver competitive offerings.
  • The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would seek comment on whether to clarify or modify the FCC’s existing rules to further promote the deployment of Broadcast Internet services.