1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we propose to authorize television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard associated with recent work of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC 3.0”) on a voluntary, market-driven basis, while they continue to deliver current-generation digital television (DTV) broadcast service, using the “ATSC 1.0 standard,” to their viewers.1 ATSC 3.0 is being developed by broadcasters with the intent of merging the capabilities of over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet, using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for DTV. According to a coalition of broadcast and consumer electronics industry representatives that has petitioned the Commission to authorize the use of ATSC 3.0,2 this new standard has the potential to greatly improve broadcast signal reception, particularly on mobile devices and television receivers without outdoor antennas, and it will enable broadcasters to offer enhanced and innovative new features to consumers, including Ultra High Definition (UHD) picture and immersive audio, more localized programming content, an advanced emergency alert system (EAS) capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent emergencies, better accessibility options, and interactive services. With today’s action, we aim to facilitate private sector innovation and promote American leadership in the global broadcast industry.
2. In this proceeding, we seek to adopt rules that will afford broadcasters flexibility to deploy ATSC 3.0-based transmissions, while minimizing the impact on, and costs to, consumers and other industry stakeholders. Among other matters, we seek public input on the following issues and proposals: