FCC to Vote on Next-Generation Broadcast TV Ownership Rules at June Meeting
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | Comments

The FCC plans to vote on a proposal to spur the transition to Advanced Television Systems Committee 3.0 (ATSC 3.0), the next-generation standard for broadcast TV with several public-safety communications benefits. The declaratory ruling would clarify how long-standing television station ownership rules apply to the lease of spectrum to provide broadcast internet services.

The commission will also consider seeking comment on the extent to which the FCC should clarify or modify its existing rules to further promote the deployment of broadcast internet services as part of the transition to ATSC 3.0.

The digital TV transition promised to make new digital services available over broadcaster’s existing spectrum, in addition to traditional video programming. However, this potential has never been realized, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a blog. The ATSC 3.0 standard promises to finally realize the potential for broadcast spectrum capacity to support broadcast internet services — digital services beyond traditional over-the-air video, integrated into the broadband ecosystem.

“This decision would remove regulatory uncertainty that could hinder the development of new innovation using available broadcast airwaves,” he said.

The technology has benefits for public safety, including datacasting.

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