FCC Authorizes Next Gen TV Broadcast Standard

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to let television broadcasters use the Next Generation broadcast television transmission standard, also called ATSC 3.0, on a voluntary, market-driven basis. The action adopts rules that will allow broadcasters the flexibility to deploy Next Generation TV service while minimizing the impact on consumers and industry stakeholders. The upgraded technology will merge the capabilities of over-the-air broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for digital television (DTV). Among other things, the Report & Order:

  • Requires broadcasters that use Next Generation TV to partner with another local station in their market to simulcast their programming in the current DTV standard, called ATSC 1.0, so that viewers can continue to receive their existing broadcast service without having to purchase new equipment
  • Subjects Next Gen TV signals to the public interest obligations that currently apply to television broadcasters
  • Requires broadcasters to provide advance on-air notifications to educate consumers about Next Generation TV service deployment and simulcasting.

FCC Authorizes Next Gen TV Broadcast Standard