Clyburn Launches ATSC 3.0 Twitter Campaign

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has launched a Twitter campaign to register her concerns with the ATSC 3.0 rollout framework the FCC is planning to vote on Nov. 16.

Remember when I asked as part of #NextGenTV NPRM that there be complete assurances that #consumers will not be burdened w/ unwanted, unexpected costs? Not looking good despite nxt week’s @FCC action.

— Mignon Clyburn (@MClyburnFCC) November 9, 2017

ATSC 3.0 is the next gen broadcast transmission standard that the FCC is authorizing broadcasters to roll out on a voluntary basis, though if they do start using it they must continue to simulcast in the 1.0 signals current TV sets can receive--ATSC 3.0 is not backwards compatible.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal includes not preventing TV stations from including ATSC 3.0 signals in retransmission consent negotiations for current 1.0 signals saying those are marketplace negotiations best left there. Cable operators have argued that allowing bundled negotiations could prematurely force them to pay for both signals, a cost that would be passed on to consumers.

National Association of Broadcasters ATSC 3.0 point person Patrick McFadden saw it a lot differently in a blog post Thursday (Nov. 9).  "Broadcasters are seeking permission to invest their own capital to offer a better service to viewers without government mandates or subsidies while maintaining their current obligations," he said. "It’s obvious why this might concern pay-TV competitors. But if 'consumer advocates' can’t see the public benefit in next week’s FCC decision, it might be time to audition for a different role.

Related: FEC Commissioner Wants New Social Media Input on Disclosures

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 World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.