The FCC has issued a Public Notice requesting comment on a Joint Petition filed by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), America's Public Television Stations (APTS) and the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance which requested the FCC to allow TV broadcasters to use aspects of the new ATSC 3.0 “Next Generation TV” broadcast standard. In particular, the Joint Petition asks the FCC to authorize TV broadcasters to begin voluntarily rolling out ATSC 3.0 TV service to the public. Comments on the Joint Petition’s proposals are due May 26, 2016, and reply comments are due June 27, 2016.
The Joint Petition states that ATSC 3.0 will allow television stations to broadcast using Internet Protocol (IP) technology to improve TV broadcast service and to launch “innovation by the television industry for decades to come.” To this end, the Joint Petition requests the Commission to:
(1) approve the Next Generation TV transmission standard as a new, optional standard for television broadcasting;
(2) approve certain rule changes that will enable stations to deploy Next Generation TV and continue to broadcast with the current DTV standard to ensure that broadcasts in the current DTV standard remain available to viewers; and
(3) conform certain sections of the FCC’s rules to permit the deployment of the new standard.
The underlying purpose of the Public Notice is to promptly gather initial public comments and information on the Joint Petition, prior to the FCC's likely initiation of a formal rulemaking proceeding. Because the Joint Petition requests the FCC to change its rules, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be needed to formalize the ATSC 3.0 proposal and to again seek public comment on adoption of the new standard.
If you have any questions or are interested in filing comments in connection with the FCC’s Public Notice, please contact any attorney in our office.