Clyburn Launches ATSC 3.0 Twitter Campaign

Says she has concerns about impact on consumers

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has launched a Twitter campaign to register her concerns with the ATSC 3.0 rollout framework the FCC is planning to vote on Nov. 16.

ATSC 3.0 is the next gen broadcast transmission standard that the FCC is authorizing broadcasters to roll out on a voluntary basis, though if they do start using it they must continue to simulcast in the 1.0 signals current TV sets can receive--ATSC 3.0 is not backwards compatible.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal includes not preventing TV stations from including ATSC 3.0 signals in retransmission consent negotiations for current 1.0 signals saying those are marketplace negotiations best left there. Cable operators have argued that allowing bundled negotiations could prematurely force them to pay for both signals, a cost that would be passed on to consumers.

National Association of Broadcasters ATSC 3.0 point person Patrick McFadden saw it a lot differently in a blog post Thursday (Nov. 9).  "Broadcasters are seeking permission to invest their own capital to offer a better service to viewers without government mandates or subsidies while maintaining their current obligations," he said. "It’s obvious why this might concern pay-TV competitors. But if 'consumer advocates' can’t see the public benefit in next week’s FCC decision, it might be time to audition for a different role.

Related: FEC Commissioner Wants New Social Media Input on Disclosures