Carr to Broadcasters: Think of ATSC as Broadband Pipe

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ATSC 3.0, or Next Gen TV, marries over-the-air broadcasting with broadband. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Monday urged broadcasters planning to roll out the new technology (see related story) to innovate like the wireless industry.

“You see [such innovation] on the wireless side with the buildout of 5G networks, he said during an ATSC event at the NAB Show. “And you see it across the country as fixed broadband providers upgrade and extend their networks to support new use cases.”

Up to now, a lot of the buzz around ATSC 3.0 has been tied to the promise of Next-Gen TV. That’s understandable, because the new tech will enable broadcast television signals to be delivered to a smartphone or tablet, according to proponents.

Carr urged broadcasters to think of ATSC 3.0 “as a new and competitive broadband pipe.” The technology has the potential to deliver a 25 Mbps data stream. “As an IP-based standard, ATSC 3.0 will enable broadcasters to leverage the same protocols that we use today in our broadband networks,” Carr explained.

For example, ATSC 3.0 could play a pivotal role in autonomous vehicles. “It could send out targeted map and traffic data or provide large, fleet-wide software updates. For IoT, smart ag, and telemedicine applications, ATSC 3.0’s low-band spectrum could provide an efficient means of communicating with devices over wide areas,” he added.

For 5G, ATSC 3.0 “could help augment coverage or add capacity by shifting data off of cellular networks. As we look to push more and more data to the edge of the network, ATSC 3.0 could provide one way of moving all that data in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” Carr noted, ticking off examples of experimentation underway at several universities and television stations.

Published April 10, 2019

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