FCC Adopts Next Gen Broadband TV – ATSC 3.0 Order

At its meeting last week, the FCC adopted new rules regarding ATSC 3.0.  In its press release the FCC noted:

“The advances in spectrum efficiency provided by ATSC 3.0 means that broadcasters will continue to provide high-quality, free, over-the-air digital television while also having the extra capacity to complement the nation’s 5G wireless networks with Broadcast Internet data services.  The Order’s clarification of the fee structure pertaining to ancillary and supplementary services ensures that television broadcasters can easily partner with third parties to provide new services without the risk of having to pay the federal government excessive fees.”

Specifically, the FCC addressed a number of critical issues.  The Commission:

  • Clarified the basis on which to calculate ancillary and supplementary service fees.
  • Retained the existing standard of derogation of broadcast service.
  • Amended the derogation rule to eliminate an outdated reference to analog television.
  • Reaffirmed the freedom of noncommercial educational television stations (NCEs) to provide ancillary and supplementary services.
  • Modified the ancillary service fees for non-commercial stations to 2.5% of gross revenues. (Commercial stations pay a fee for providing non broadcast ancillary services in the amount of 5% of gross revenues for these services.)

Adopting these rules is a huge step forward for the deployment of  Next Gen TV – ATSC 3.0.  As Chairman Pai noted,

“ Television stations in 21 U.S. markets are now broadcasting in ATSC 3.0.  And there are now 20 television models available with built-in tuners capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals, with more set to hit the shelves in 2021.”

To see the FCC decision and statements of all the Commissioners click HERE.


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