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 Democrat Mignon Clyburn still had some reservations—to propose the rollout, so long as broadcasters continue to broadcast their content in the ATSC standard as well, as ATSC 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 TVs—the 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.
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