Carr Boosts Broadcast Internet

FCC member sees ATSC 3.0 spec as ‘a new and competitive broadband pipe’
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Tech companies could be forgiven for seeing bigger plans rather than better TV reception in broadcasters’ request to use distributed transmitters to extend ATSC 3.0 signals, at least if they were listening to Federal Communications Commission member Brendan Carr.

Brendan Carr

Brendan Carr

In remarks to a National Association of Broadcasters/Consumer Technology Association event in May, Carr talked up ATSC 3.0 as “a new and competitive broadband pipe.” He called “broadcast internet” part of a broader trend to offer high-speed Internet via a number of different technologies. He said that ATSC 3.0 “will allow broadcast spectrum to play an even greater role in this converged market for connectivity.”

But Carr is doing more than talking. He is motormanning an item that would make it clear that broadcast internet services are not subject to TV ownership limits, meaning that broadcasters could team up, with each other or third parties, to deliver broadband services without violating FCC rules.

Carr said that would give broadcasters “the flexibility to generate the scale and geographic footprint — both locally and nationally — that may be necessary to support certain Broadcast Internet services without being subject to regulations unrelated to the provision of such services.”

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