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One Media to FCC: Open the Digital Gates

One Media Group, a Sinclair joint venture working on a new next generation TV broadcast transmission standard, has urged the FCC to "open the gates" and let broadcasters join fully in the digital future.

That came in comments filed with the FCC on the broadcaster proposal that the commission allow them to start rolling out the new interactive ATSC 3.0 transmission standard ASAP so thay can make that transition before or at the same time that stations are being repacked after the FCC spectrum auction so that, if a station needs a new transmitter, it could make it one capable of delivering the new standard. They have agreed to simulcast during the rollout since the new standard is incompatible with current TVs.

"Rapid action on this petition should be designed to complement the Broadcast Spectrum Incentive Auction and permit those broadcasters remaining after the auction completion to modify their facilities as necessary concurrent with any channel reallocation process," said One Media.

While cable operators and other MVPDs have told the FCC they have concerns about the costs of carriage and the impact on retransmission consent and cautioned the FCC against rushing in to any decision, ONE Media says their concerns are misplaced, the proposal is relatively simple and straightforward and said that it is in the public interest to allow it to roll out at the same time TV stations are being repacked and could even help that process by avoiding service disruptions.

A coalition of commercial broadcasters, noncommercial broadcasters and tech companies in April asked the FCC to approve a voluntary, market-based rollout of the new TV transmission standard.

The next-gen system would allow for interactivity, ultra high-definition, advanced emergency alerts, more channels in the same bandwidth, mobile broadcast TV, and datacasting, all ways for broadcasters to remain competitive in a multi-platform world.

They want the FCC to approve the standard as an option for both broadcasters and receiver manufacturers and give them permission to simulcast while the new standard is being deployed so service to viewers would not be interrupted—the new transmission standard is not compatible with current sets.

Related: One Media, TeamCast Experimenting With ATSC 3.0, SFN Tests

In its filing in the FCC docket, posted Monday, Hearst joined with ONE Media, as well as the National Association of Broadcasters, DTV consortium Pearl, and others in asking the FCC to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Oct. 1, 2016.