Comment Deadlines Set for ATSC 3.0 Rollout

WASHINGTON—The FCC is giving commenters plenty of time to weigh in on its proposal to allow TV broadcasters to start rolling out the ATSC 3.0 next gen transmission standard.

The FCC unanimously voted Feb. 23--though Democratic Mignon Clyburn still have some reservations--to propose the rollout, so long as broadcasters continue to broadcast their content in the ATSC standard as wellATSC 3.0 is not compatible with current sets. But the proposal also asked a lot of questions about exactly how the commission should authorize the launch of the new standard.

On March 10, a summary of that decision was published in the Federal Register, which triggers the official comment period, which the FCC set as 60 and 90 days.

Cable operators are interested in the standard as well, including what their carriage responsibilities/options will be.

Commenters have until May 9, with reply comments due June 8.

Pai has said he wanted to have a final order ready for a vote by year's end.

Among the questions the FCC asked are whether it should mandate that ATSC 3.0 tuners be included in new TV'sthe FCC tentatively concludes it is not yet time for such a mandate; whether it should prohibit MVPD carriage of the new signals via retrans deals until it has gathered more data on them, thus easing MVPD carriage burdens initially; and how broadcasters should have to notify viewers about the new standard.

For more on this subject, visit our ATSC 3.0 silo.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio WorldTV TechTV FaxThis Week in Consumer ElectronicsVariety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.