March 7, 2017
Ms. Marlene H. Dortch Secretary
Federal Communications Commission 445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
Re: Ex Parte Notice: GN Docket No. 16-142, Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard
Dear Ms. Dortch:
On March 6, 2017, the undersigned hosted members of the Commission’s Media Bureau at the ONE Media offices in Arlington, Virginia to demonstrate the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) and other capabilities of the proposed ATSC 3.0, Next Generation (“Next Gen”), broadcast transmission standard. The pending rulemaking proceeding to approve use of the new standard was discussed as well. A list of those in attendance is attached.
Members of the AWARN Alliance were present to demonstrate the geo- targeting, rich media, and other capabilities made possible with the Next Gen standard. AMBER, chemical spill, and tornado warning prototypes were presented. These demonstrations showed how the Next Gen standard moves far beyond simple text messages on receive devices to display photos of missing children, kidnapping suspects, vehicle identity and location maps. Similarly, Doppler radar, evacuation routes, toxic cloud locations, specific shelter advice, and hospital wait times were shown to display dramatically the advantages of the Next Gen standard.
The AWARN demos were proceeded by a presentation by ONE Media focused on the inadequacies of the current DTV standard, including: lack of mobility, inability to connect with Internet-enabled devices, deficient emergency notifications, and the inability to hyper-localize programming or advertising. In contrast, the advances enabled by the Next Gen standard were highlighted within the broadcast one-to-many architecture supplemented with the change to an Internet Protocol distribution process and more robust modulation and compression technologies. Together, these elements help meet the evolving needs of both viewers and broadcasters.
The Next Gen capabilities were also discussed in the context of the questions posed by the Commission in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Specifically, it was noted that this limited technical proceeding should not be the vehicle to expand programming obligations or other rules not directly tied to the optional, voluntary use of the new standard. Only the “bootstrap” portion of the ATSC 3.0 “physical layer” is required for Commission approval, and the Commission should take all steps necessary to permit accelerated deployment so consumers can gain the significant advantages made possible by the new standard.
The demonstration also provided an example of consumer-facing devices using the new standard, which highlighted a variety of flexible options available to viewers. Those included multiple programming streams, video-on-demand options, personalized program choices, “hybrid” broadcast-broadband networks permitting interactivity, along with an example of a “home gateway” device to enable ATSC 1.0 devices through existing Wi-Fi distribution of a Next Gen signal.
Please contact the undersigned should you have any questions regarding this matter.
John M. Lawson Executive Director
cc: Listed on attached
From the FCC:
From AWARN Alliance:
John Lawson Fiona James
From National Association of Broadcasters:
From Monroe Electronics:
From Sinclair Broadcast Group:
Rebecca Hanson Amanda Ota
From ONE Media, LLC: