FCC Votes to Promote Broadcast Internet via ATSC 3.0

Broadcast Internet
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WASHINGTON—The FCC is throwing its support behind Broadcast Internet, approving a Report & Order that updates the rules and fee structure related to Broadcast Internet services.

ATSC 3.0 is the next-generation standard developed by ATSC that powers NextGen TV. This includes ATSC 3.0 ancillary and supplementary broadcast services, widely known as Broadcast Internet. Among the potential Broadcast Internet services is datacasting.

The Report & Order approved by the FCC today, Dec. 10, during its December commission meeting clarifies the fee structure pertaining to these ancillary and supplementary services, which the FCC says will ensure that TV broadcasters can partner with third-parties to provide news services without the risk of having to pay the federal government excessive fees.

The Order also adopts additional proposals designed to facilitate noncommercial educational television (NCE) stations to utilize Broadcast Internet services. Specifically, the Order allows NCEs to offer nonprofit, noncommercial, educational Broadcast Internet services alongside their TV programming as part of the primary use of their spectrum and cuts the fee on revenue from those services in half, from 5% to 2.5%.

NAB Senior Vice President of Communications Ann Marie Cumming issued the following statement in reaction to the FCC’s vote:

“NAB appreciates the commission’s attention to the development of ATSC 3.0 and all of the consumer benefits that will follow. In particular, NAB thanks all of the commissioners for working collaboratively with stakeholders to yield a positive item for the future of ATSC 3.0.”

Other organizations, like APTS, had urged the FCC to adopt the Report & Order. NCTA—The Internet & Television Association, however, did believe that Broadcast Internet services should adhere to traditional broadcast rules. As of the posting of this story NCTA had not issued a comment on the FCC’s decision.

The full FCC Report & Order is available through the FCC website