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Date: June 1, 2017

Next Gen TV (the ATSC 3.0 standard) represents transformative technology that will result in significant opportunities for broadcasters, viewers, and communities. The new standard is expected to include developments in Ultra-HD, mobile broadcasting, and the introduction of personalization and interactivity into broadcasts. Next Gen TV also presents public service opportunities through broadcasting advancements in education, public safety, accessibility, and civic engagement.

The FCC is currently proposing that the Next Gen TV standard would be introduced on a voluntary basis through a phased deployment process over a number of years. Any station that chooses to deploy Next Gen TV, however, must arrange for another station in its local market to serve as a “host” to the simulcast its primary program channel using the current standard (ATSC 1.0) in order to minimize disruption to viewers during the transition.

The question posed by the FCC rulemaking proceeding is whether those opportunities be available to non-commercial educational (NCE) stations. How the FCC addresses a number of policy decisions in the proceeding will affect the opportunities for public broadcasters.

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