[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 23 (Friday, February 2, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4998-5028]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-01473]



[[Page 4997]]

Vol. 83

Friday,

No. 23

February 2, 2018

Part III





Federal Communications Commission





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47 CFR Parts 15, 73, 74, et al.





Authorizing Permissive Use of the ``Next Generation'' Broadcast 
Television Standard; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 83 , No. 23 / Friday, February 2, 2018 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 4998]]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 15, 73, 74, and 76

[GN Docket No. 16-142; FCC 17-158]


Authorizing Permissive Use of the ``Next Generation'' Broadcast 
Television Standard

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC 
or Commission) authorizes television broadcasters to use the ``Next 
Generation'' broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard, 
also called ``ATSC 3.0'' or ``3.0,'' on a voluntary, market-driven 
basis. This authorization is subject to broadcasters continuing to 
deliver current-generation digital television (DTV) service, using the 
ATSC 1.0 transmission standard, also called ``ATSC 1.0'' or ``1.0,'' to 
their viewers.

DATES: Effective March 5, 2018, except for Sec. Sec.  73.3801, 73.6029, 
and 74.782 which contain information collection requirements that are 
not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register 
announcing the effective date for these sections. The incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by 
the Director of the Federal Register, as of March 5, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information, contact 
Evan Baranoff, Evan.Baranoff@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy 
Division, (202) 418-7142, or Matthew Hussey, Matthew.Hussey@fcc.gov, of 
the Office of Engineering and Technology, (202) 418-3619. Direct press 
inquiries to Janice Wise at (202) 418-8165. For additional information 
concerning the Paperwork Reduction Act information collection 
requirements contained in this document, send an email to PRA@fcc.gov 
or contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order (R&O), FCC 17-158, adopted on November 16, 2017 and released 
on November 20, 2017. The full text of this document is available 
electronically via the FCC's Electronic Document Management System 
(EDOCS) website at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/ or via the 
FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) website at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. (Documents will be available electronically 
in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat.) This document is also 
available for public inspection and copying during regular business 
hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, which is located in Room 
CY-A257 at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. 
The Reference Information Center is open to the public Monday through 
Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 
a.m. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy 
contractor, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. 
Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities 
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an 
email to fcc504@fcc.gov or calling the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 
(TTY). This document incorporates by reference two ATSC 3.0 standards 
of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC): (1) ATSC A/
321:2016 ``System Discovery & Signaling'' (A/321) and (2) A/322:2017 
``Physical Layer Protocol'' (A/322). These standards are available from 
ATSC, 1776 K Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20006; or at the ATSC 
website: www.atsc.org/standards/atsc-3-0-standards/.

Synopsis

I. Authorizing Voluntary Deployment of ATSC 3.0

    1. In this Report and Order (R&O), we authorize television 
broadcasters to use the ``Next Generation'' broadcast television (Next 
Gen TV) transmission standard, also called ``ATSC 3.0'' or ``3.0,'' on 
a voluntary, market-driven basis. This authorization is subject to 
broadcasters continuing to deliver current-generation digital 
television (DTV) service, using the ATSC 1.0 transmission standard, 
also called ``ATSC 1.0'' or ``1.0,'' to their viewers. ATSC 3.0 is the 
new TV transmission standard developed by Advanced Television Systems 
Committee as the world's first internet Protocol (IP)-based broadcast 
transmission platform. It merges the capabilities of over-the-air (OTA) 
broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery 
methods of the internet, using the same 6 MHz channels presently 
allocated for DTV service. This new TV transmission standard promises 
to allow broadcasters to innovate, improve service, and use their 
spectrum more efficiently. It also has the potential to enable 
broadcasters to provide consumers with a more immersive and enjoyable 
television viewing experience on both home and mobile screens. In 
addition, ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcasters to offer enhanced public 
safety capabilities, such as geo-targeting of emergency alerts to 
tailor information to particular communities and emergency alerting 
capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent 
emergencies, and advanced accessibility options. With today's action, 
we aim to facilitate private sector innovation and promote American 
leadership in the global broadcast industry.

A. Authorization of Voluntary Use of ATSC 3.0 Transmissions and 
Treatment Under the Act

    2. The Commission in this R&O adopts the proposal in the Next Gen 
TV Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Next Gen TV NPRM), 82 FR 13285 (March 
10, 2017), to authorize ATSC 3.0 as an optional broadcast television 
transmission standard. All parties who commented on the issue support 
our proposal to authorize ATSC 3.0 on a voluntary, market-driven basis. 
Broadcasters will be permitted, but not required, to transmit ATSC 3.0 
signals if they comply with the requirements in this Order and any 
other relevant rules and statutory provisions. Alternatively, 
broadcasters may choose to continue transmitting their signals solely 
in the currently authorized ATSC 1.0 transmission standard.
    3. We conclude that stations transmitting ATSC 3.0 signals will be 
engaged in ``broadcasting'' within the meaning of the Communications 
Act (the ``Act''). The Act defines ``broadcasting'' as ``the 
dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the 
public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations,'' and a 
``broadcast station'' as ``a radio station equipped to engage in 
broadcasting.'' We proposed to interpret the Act in this manner in the 
Next Gen TV NPRM, and no commenter objects to this reading of the 
statute. This conclusion applies to stations transmitting both an ATSC 
1.0 and an ATSC 3.0 signal pursuant to the local simulcasting 
requirement we adopt in this Order and stations transmitting only an 
ATSC 3.0 signal. Accordingly, all of the restrictions and obligations 
that the Act imposes on television broadcasters, including obligations 
or restrictions on television broadcast licenses, licensees, stations, 
or services, will be applicable to broadcasters using the ATSC 3.0 
transmission standard.
    4. The Act includes, for example, restrictions on foreign ownership 
of broadcast licenses and licensees and

[[Page 4999]]

obligations for broadcasters to provide ``reasonable access'' to 
candidates for federal elective office and to afford ``equal 
opportunities'' to candidates for any public office. Television 
broadcasters also are subject to statutory obligations to make certain 
disclosures in connection with advertisements that discuss a 
``political matter of national importance'' and to disclose the 
identity of program sponsors. In addition, among other requirements, 
the Act specifies that television broadcasters must air educational 
programming for children, limit the amount of commercial material they 
include in programming directed to children, restrict the airing of 
indecent programming, and comply with provisions relating to the rating 
of video programming.
    5. The Commission has determined that the definition of 
``broadcasting'' in the Act applies to services intended to be received 
by an indiscriminate public and has identified three indicia of a lack 
of such intent: (1) The service is not receivable on conventional 
television sets and requires a licensee or programmer-provided special 
antennae and/or signal converter so the signal can be received in the 
home; (2) the programming is encrypted in a way that ``makes it 
unusable by the public'' and that is not ``enjoyable without the aid of 
decoders''; and (3) the provider and the viewer are engaged in a 
private contractual relationship.\1\ Based on the rules we adopt in 
this Order to permit the voluntary use of ATSC 3.0 and the descriptions 
of ATSC 3.0 transmissions in the record, we find that Next Gen TV 
service will be intended to be received by all members of the public. 
We are requiring Next Gen TV stations to provide one free, over-the-air 
video programming stream broadcast in ATSC 3.0. Thus, the programming 
on this stream will not require a private contractual agreement between 
the broadcaster and the viewers. Furthermore, although TV receivers 
capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals without the use of additional 
equipment are not yet available in the United States, ATSC 3.0 
transmissions will be receivable eventually on conventional television 
sets. We expect that television receivers capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 
signals will quickly become available as consumers realize the benefits 
of Next Gen TV. Accordingly, we conclude that Next Gen TV stations will 
be engaged in ``broadcasting'' as defined in the Act.
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    \1\ Although NAB states that ``free Next Gen signals may be 
encrypted,'' it also maintains that ``viewers will not require 
special equipment supplied and programmed by the broadcaster to 
decode Next Gen signals.'' Programming that is encrypted must not 
require special equipment supplied and programmed by the broadcaster 
to decode.
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    6. ATVA notes that at some point ATSC 3.0 service may include two-
way, interactive service offerings to individual viewers (such as 
targeted advertising and localized content) and asserts that at some 
point these service offerings may become so individualized that they no 
longer constitute ``broadcasting'' within the meaning of the Act. ATVA 
suggests that the Commission ``consider where that point lies sooner 
rather than later to avoid uncertainty for broadcasters, MVPDs, and 
others.'' Given that the ATSC 3.0 standard is new and will be deployed 
on a voluntary basis, it is not yet known precisely what interactive 
services Next Gen TV broadcasters may offer or the extent to which 
differentiated content may be provided to individual viewers. Moreover, 
even if Next Gen TV broadcasters offer some two-way interactive 
services with individualized content, not all viewers may be interested 
in such individualized services, so we expect that Next Gen TV 
broadcasters will continue to provide an undifferentiated broadcast 
service to the general public. We therefore find that it is unnecessary 
to speculate at this time as to whether certain ATSC 3.0 service 
offerings may become so individualized that they would no longer meet 
the definition of ``broadcasting.'' \2\
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    \2\ We note, however, that two-way communication may be subject 
to other provisions of the Communications Act and Commission rules, 
including those that govern the accessibility of advanced 
communications services by people with disabilities.
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B. Local Simulcasting

    7. As originally proposed by Petitioners, and as we proposed in the 
Next Gen TV NPRM, we require Next Gen TV broadcasters to air a local 
simulcast of the primary video programming stream of their ATSC 3.0 
channel in ATSC 1.0 format. We find that local simulcasting is a 
critical component of the Commission's authorization of ATSC 3.0 as a 
voluntary transmission standard. We discuss our local simulcasting 
requirement below, including what we mean by local simulcasting and the 
coverage area that must be served by the 1.0 simulcast signal. We also 
address issues related to the location and coverage area of ATSC 3.0 
signals, waivers and exceptions to the simulcasting requirement, and 
licensing procedures for authorizing Next Gen TV broadcasters.
1. Local Simulcasting Requirement
    8. Our local simulcasting requirement will be effectuated through 
partnerships that broadcasters that wish to provide Next Gen TV service 
must enter into with other broadcasters in their local markets. 
Specifically, Next Gen TV broadcasters must partner with another 
television station (i.e., a temporary ``host'' station) in their local 
market to either: (1) Air an ATSC 3.0 channel at the temporary host's 
facility, while using their original facility to continue to provide an 
ATSC 1.0 simulcast channel, or (2) air an ATSC 1.0 simulcast channel at 
the temporary host's facility, while converting their original facility 
to the ATSC 3.0 standard in order to provide a 3.0 channel. In either 
case, Next Gen TV broadcasters must simulcast the primary video 
programming stream of their ATSC 3.0 channel in an ATSC 1.0 format, so 
that viewers will continue to receive ATSC 1.0 service.
    9. We apply our local simulcasting requirement only to the primary 
video programming stream aired by Next Gen TV broadcasters on their 
ATSC 3.0 channels.\3\ Next Gen TV stations may be able to transmit 
multiple streams of programming in ATSC 3.0, as many do today in ATSC 
1.0. Although we encourage those Next Gen TV broadcasters that elect to 
air multiple streams of ATSC 3.0 programming to also simulcast more 
than a single programming stream, we will require them to simulcast 
only their primary stream in ATSC 1.0 format.\4\ Commenters generally 
agree that any local simulcasting requirement should apply to a Next 
Gen TV station's primary stream. We give broadcasters discretion to 
select the primary stream for purposes of our local simulcasting 
requirement.\5\ Because broadcasters have a strong incentive to provide 
continuity of service to existing viewers, we believe they will elect 
to simulcast the programming stream that viewers expect to be able to 
receive, such as a stream containing network

[[Page 5000]]

programming \6\ or the stream that has the largest number of viewers 
for non-network stations.\7\ We will monitor the deployment of ATSC 3.0 
and the effectiveness of our local simulcasting requirement in 
protecting viewers and will reconsider our approach if necessary.
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    \3\ We note that the term ``primary'' is also used in the 
carriage context to refer to the stream for which a station demands 
mandatory carriage. That stream generally contains network 
programming for network affiliates or the station's most popular 
programming for non-network stations.
    \4\ We also do not require Next Gen TV broadcasters that 
currently air multicast streams to continue to do so on their ATSC 
1.0 simulcast channel. The provision of multicast channels is 
discretionary, and we decline to adopt rules requiring broadcasters 
who currently air such channels to continue to do so.
    \5\ This is consistent with our decision in the context of the 
transition from analog to digital television.
    \6\ We note that broadcasters may also have a contractual 
obligation, through their network affiliation agreements, to 
continue to provide certain programming to viewers in the current 
DTV standard.
    \7\ Broadcasters argue they have a strong economic incentive to 
continue to serve their viewers.
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    10. The Commission intends that the local simulcasting requirement 
be temporary.\8\ The Commission will monitor the pace of the voluntary 
deployment of ATSC 3.0 both nationally and market-by-market, including 
the rollout of 3.0 service by television broadcasters, the penetration 
of ATSC 3.0-ready TV sets and other converter equipment, and the extent 
to which MVPDs have deployed 3.0 equipment. As we proposed in the Next 
Gen TV NPRM, we will determine in a later proceeding when it would be 
appropriate for the Commission to eliminate the requirement that 
broadcasters continue to provide an ATSC 1.0 signal.\9\
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    \8\ We anticipate that Next Gen TV broadcasters that initiate 
3.0 service at another location will ultimately return to their 
existing licensed facility and convert that facility from 1.0 to 3.0 
technology.
    \9\ The commenters who address this issue agree that this issue 
should be handled in a separate proceeding. NAB agrees that stations 
should continue to transmit a 1.0 signal until the Commission 
determines that it is appropriate to sunset that requirement, but 
argues that the requirement that the 1.0 signal be substantially 
similar to the 3.0 signal should apply only for three years.
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    11. We find that local simulcasting is essential to the deployment 
of Next Gen TV service on a voluntary, market-driven basis for all 
stakeholders, and we agree with the many commenters who support a 
requirement that broadcasters implementing Next Gen TV must continue to 
air at least one ATSC 1.0 programming stream.\10\ Local simulcasting is 
necessary because ATSC 3.0 service is not backward-compatible with 
existing TV sets or receivers, which have only ATSC 1.0 and analog 
tuners. This means that consumers will not be able to view ATSC 3.0 
transmissions on their existing televisions without additional 
equipment. As the Petition recognized and as discussed in the Next Gen 
TV NPRM, local simulcasting is a means to address this challenge.\11\ 
With local simulcasting, viewers will be able to continue to watch a 
Next Gen TV station's programming without having to purchase new TV 
sets or converter equipment to receive ATSC 3.0 service. Thus, as 
Petitioners explain, ``local simulcasting will permit uninterrupted 
service to continue as the American public embraces Next Generation TV 
reception equipment, and will permit this innovative new standard to be 
implemented without necessitating new simulcast channels from the 
Commission.''
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    \10\ Next Gen TV broadcasters may voluntarily air more than one 
ATSC 1.0 programming stream, but are required to air only one ATSC 
1.0 simulcast channel.
    \11\ Indeed, the Petition asserted that ``the core of the 
voluntary, market-driven implementation of ATSC 3.0 will be local 
simulcasting.''
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    12. To avoid either forcing viewers to acquire new equipment or 
depriving them of television service, it is critical that broadcasters 
continue to provide service using the current ATSC 1.0 standard to 
deliver DTV service while the marketplace adopts devices compatible 
with the new 3.0 transmission standard. Television sets capable of 
receiving ATSC 3.0 signals are currently being developed in South 
Korea,\12\ but are not yet commercially available in the United States. 
We recognize that 3.0 capable equipment likely will be produced for the 
U.S. market once the 3.0 standard is approved and that it will be 
possible for consumers to connect ATSC 3.0 converter devices to many 
existing newer television sets through HDMI ports. Nevertheless, 
without a local simulcasting requirement, many consumers would be 
forced to purchase new sets or other equipment in order to continue 
viewing over the air television.\13\
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    \12\ According to ATVA, ATSC 3.0 receivers will become 
increasingly available in South Korea this year in advance of 4K 
Ultra HD broadcasts of the Winter Olympic Games in Korea in February 
2018. In the United States, ATSC 3.0 is on the air for testing under 
FCC experimental authority in several markets including Baltimore, 
Cleveland, and Raleigh.
    \13\ Broadcasters themselves acknowledge the need to continue to 
provide ATSC 1.0 service while the marketplace adapts over time to 
ATSC 3.0 technology.
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    13. A simulcast mandate applicable to a Next Gen TV station's 
primary 3.0 video programming stream will also help ensure that MVPDs 
can continue to provide the 1.0 signals of Next Gen TV broadcasters to 
their subscribers. According to ATVA and NCTA, the equipment used by 
MVPDs today to receive, transmit, and provide broadcast signals to 
viewers via set-top boxes is incapable of providing an ATSC 3.0 signal 
in its native format to subscribers.\14\ The continued provision of a 
1.0 signal will help ensure that MVPDs can continue to carry the 1.0 
signal of stations deploying 3.0 without necessitating MVPDs incur the 
expense of converting to 3.0 capable equipment or acquiring the 
equipment necessary to permit reception of an ATSC 3.0 signal and 
``down converting'' that signal to a format compatible with legacy 
equipment, including set-top boxes.\15\ In addition, the local 
simulcasting requirement will assist MVPDs, especially small and rural 
cable providers, that rely on OTA reception of broadcast signals to 
continue retransmitting to their subscribers an uninterrupted ATSC 1.0 
OTA signal.
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    \14\ NCTA claims that cable system costs to convert to 3.0 
equipment could be ``significant.'' In addition, according to ATVA 
and NCTA, even if broadcast signals could be passed through in a 
native ATSC 3.0 format, because of their potentially higher 
resolution such signals would consume more capacity than signals in 
1.0 format. The impact on capacity would be exacerbated by the need 
for systems carrying 3.0 signals to also carry and deliver those 
signals in 1.0 format because MVPD subscribers will continue to have 
television sets that cannot receive ATSC 3.0 signals for the 
foreseeable future. ATVA notes that these capacity issues pose a 
problem in particular for satellite carriers, whose spot beams may 
be full or nearly full, and small cable system operators, many of 
which do not have spare capacity to devote to carriage of additional 
signals in higher-resolution formats.
    \15\ ATVA and ACA note that MVPD equipment related to ATSC 3.0 
reception is not yet commercially available.
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    14. We disagree with those commenters who advocate that the 
Commission refrain from adopting a simulcast mandate on the ground that 
broadcasters already have incentives to ensure continuity of service to 
viewers and that they need flexibility to implement 3.0 service. While 
we recognize that broadcasters have a strong economic incentive to 
continue to reach their viewers absent a mandate to do so, we conclude 
that codifying and clarifying this obligation is necessary to provide 
certainty to consumers, broadcasters, MVPDs, and others who will be 
affected by the voluntary rollout of 3.0 service. Accordingly, we 
decline to make the simulcasting obligation a ``best efforts'' 
requirement, as advocated by ATBA, or a ``reasonable efforts'' 
requirement as proposed by ONE Media. We recognize, however, that some 
degree of flexibility is necessary to ensure that all stations are able 
to deploy 3.0 technology, including those that cannot find a 
simulcasting partner. As discussed below, we will permit LPTV and TV 
translator stations the option of deploying ATSC 3.0 service without 
simulcasting (i.e., ``transition directly'' to ATSC 3.0) \16\ without 
requesting a waiver from the Commission, in recognition of the

[[Page 5001]]

unique difficulties these stations may face in locating a simulcasting 
partner and to permit these stations to serve as 3.0 ``host'' stations 
for other broadcasters. In addition, we will consider requests for 
waiver of the simulcast requirements on a case-by-case basis, including 
requests from full power and Class A stations to transition directly 
from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0. In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
published December 20, 2017 (82 FR 60350), we also sought comment on 
whether we should permit Class A and NCE television stations to 
transition directly from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 without seeking waivers 
or adopt a presumptive waiver standard for such stations.
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    \16\ In the Next Gen TV NPRM, we referred to this practice as a 
``flash-cut.''
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    15. We permit all television station classes to participate 
together in simulcast arrangements. Thus, a full power station could 
partner with one or more other full power stations or with one or more 
Class A, LPTV, or TV translator stations. We also permit NCE stations 
to participate in simulcast arrangements with commercial stations. Any 
Next Gen TV broadcaster that airs an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal from a 
partner host station necessarily must operate that signal using the 
technical facilities of the host. For example, a Class A, LPTV, or TV 
translator station airing a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on a full power host 
station will necessarily operate its 1.0 or 3.0 ``guest'' signal using 
the technical facilities of the full power station, including the 
higher power limit specified in 47 CFR part 73.\17\ Conversely, a full 
power station airing a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on a Class A, LPTV, or TV 
translator station must operate that signal at the Class A, LPTV, or TV 
translator's lower Part 74 power level.\18\ Otherwise, stations airing 
a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on a partner host station will continue to be 
obligated to comply with the programming and other operational 
obligations of the station originating the signal (rather than those of 
the partner host station). Thus, a full power Next Gen TV broadcaster 
airing a 1.0 simulcast signal on a partner host simulcast station must 
continue to comply with the programming and operational obligations of 
a Part 73 licensee. Similarly a Class A station airing a 1.0 or 3.0 
signal on a partner host station will continue to be obligated to 
comply with the programming and other operational obligations of a 
Class A licensee, including airing a minimum of 18 hours a day and an 
average of at least three hours per week of locally produced 
programming each quarter, as required by 47 CFR 73.6001.\19\ A 
reserved-channel full power NCE licensee, whether it airs a channel on 
a commercial partner host station or serves as a partner host to a 
commercial guest channel, will retain its NCE status and must continue 
to comply with the rules applicable to NCE licensees. In either case, 
the NCE full power station's portion of the use of the 6 MHz channel 
will be reserved for NCE-only use.
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    \17\ Compare 47 CFR 73.622(h) with 47 CFR 74.735(b). An LPTV or 
TV translator station that airs a ``guest'' channel on a partner 
host full power or Class A station will obtain ``quasi'' primary 
interference protection for that channel for the duration of the 
simulcasting arrangement by virtue of the fact that the full power 
or Class A station is a primary licensee. Although the LPTV or TV 
translator will continue to be licensed with secondary interference 
protection status, the primary status of the host full power or 
Class A station will protect the ``guest'' channel aired on the 
partner host station from interference or displacement. This 
approach is consistent with our rules for channel sharing between 
stations with differing technical rules (full power and Class A 
television stations) in the context of the incentive auction and 
outside the incentive auction context.
    \18\ A full power or Class A ``guest'' station airing a channel 
on a partner host LPTV or TV translator station will be subject to 
displacement with respect to that channel because the host has 
secondary interference protection rights.
    \19\ In addition, a Class A licensee that airs a guest signal on 
a full power host station will continue to be subject to the 
restrictions set forth in 47 U.S.C. 336(f)(7)(B).
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    16. Simulcast agreements must include provisions outlining each 
station's rights and responsibilities in the following areas: (i) 
Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have 
unrestricted access to the shared transmission facilities; (ii) 
allocation of capacity within the shared channel; (iii) operation, 
maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list 
of all relevant equipment, a description of each party's financial 
obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; (iv) the conditions 
under which the simulcast agreement may be terminated, assigned or 
transferred; and (v) how a guest's signal may be transitioned off the 
host station. License applicants must certify that the agreement 
contains such provisions. By requiring stations to address these issues 
in their simulcast agreements, we seek to avoid disputes that could 
lead to a disruption in service to the public and to ensure that each 
licensee is able to fulfill its independent obligation to comply with 
all pertinent statutory requirements and our rules.\20\
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    \20\ We do not anticipate becoming involved in the resolution of 
stations' private contractual disputes regarding simulcast 
arrangements.
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    17. The provisions that we require in simulcast agreements are 
similar to those we have required in channel sharing agreements 
(CSAs).\21\ We note that simulcast arrangements differ from CSAs in 
that the former are temporary and because, unlike channel sharing, each 
guest station can default back to its own licensed facility in the 
event the parties face irreconcilable differences. Further, unlike in 
the channel sharing context, the host station in a simulcast 
arrangement retains the right to resume use of the entire 6 MHz 
channel, subject to the terms of the simulcast agreement, without prior 
Commission approval.\22\ We do not require that local simulcast 
agreements be submitted to the Commission as part of a license 
application, as these arrangements are intended to be temporary. We 
also conclude that such a requirement would be unnecessarily burdensome 
as Next Gen TV broadcasters may need to change to a new partner host 
station, and therefore enter into a new simulcast agreement, or modify 
existing agreements as the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 becomes 
more widespread. We do, however, require that broadcasters that enter 
into local simulcast agreements maintain a written copy of such 
agreements and provide them to the Commission upon request.
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    \21\ We adopted similar provisions for full power and Class A 
television channel sharing arrangements entered into in conjunction 
with the incentive auction and outside the auction context, and for 
secondary-secondary CSAs.
    \22\ In addition, the guest station's companion channel aired on 
a partner host station will be considered part of the guest 
station's existing license and may not be assigned to a third party 
separately from the guest station's license.
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2. Definition of Local Simulcasting
a. Programming on the 1.0 and 3.0 Channels
    18. We require that, for the time being, the programming aired on 
the ATSC 1.0 simulcast channel be ``substantially similar'' to that of 
the primary video programming stream on the ATSC 3.0 channel. We define 
this requirement to mean that the programming on the 1.0 simulcast 
channel and the 3.0 primary stream must be the same, except for 
programming features that are based on the enhanced capabilities of 
ATSC 3.0, advertisements, and promotions for upcoming programs.\23\ 
This approach

[[Page 5002]]

will help ensure that viewers do not lose access to the broadcast 
programming they receive today, while still providing flexibility for 
broadcasters to innovate and experiment with new, innovative 
programming features using Next Gen TV technology. The substantially 
similar requirement will sunset in five years from its effective date 
(i.e., the date it is published in the Federal Register) absent further 
action by the Commission via rulemaking to extend it.\24\ While we 
conclude that this requirement is necessary in the early stages of ATSC 
3.0 deployment, it could unnecessarily impede Next Gen TV programming 
innovations as the deployment of ATSC 3.0 progresses. We intend to 
monitor the ATSC 3.0 marketplace, and will extend the substantially 
similar requirement if necessary.
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    \23\ We also provide an exception for instances where 
broadcasters are able to obtain the rights to air the 1.0 version of 
a program but not the 3.0 version of that program. In such cases, 
broadcasters may air that program on their 1.0 simulcast stream and 
a different program on their 3.0 primary stream. This exception does 
not appear to significantly implicate the concern expressed by some 
that broadcasters would choose to obtain the rights to air the 3.0 
version of a program and not the 1.0 version of that program so that 
the most desired programming could be made available solely on the 
3.0 channel. We caution, however, that if this exception somehow is 
abused to lead to that outcome, the Commission will revisit it.
    \24\ Some commenters oppose an automatic sunset of the 
substantially similar requirement absent Commission action, but 
support Commission review of this requirement in a future 
rulemaking.
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    19. Enhanced Capabilities. We do not apply the requirement to 
certain enhanced capabilities that cannot reasonably be provided in 
ATSC 1.0 format.\25\ These capabilities include ``hyper-localized'' 
content (e.g., geo-targeted weather, targeted emergency alerts, and 
hyper-local news),\26\ programming features or improvements created for 
the 3.0 service (e.g., emergency alert ``wake up'' ability and 
interactive programming features), enhanced formats made possible by 
3.0 technology (e.g., 4K or HDR), and any personalization of 
programming performed by the viewer and at the viewer's discretion.\27\ 
Further, because ATSC 3.0 technology may enable broadcasters to provide 
more tailored advertisements or promotions to individual viewers than 
ATSC 1.0 technology, we also do not apply the requirement to 
advertisements or promotions for upcoming programming.
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    \25\ While some of these capabilities may be theoretically 
possible within the ATSC 1.0 framework, they are not currently part 
of the ATSC 1.0 standards, are unlikely to be included in current 
consumer equipment, and as such cannot reasonably be provided via 
ATSC 1.0.
    \26\ ATSC 3.0 technology permits stations to simultaneously 
transmit different content to viewers. Thus, a station could 
simultaneously transmit a Washington, DC-focused news program to 
viewers in Washington, DC, a Virginia-focused news program to 
viewers in Virginia, and a Maryland-focused news program to viewers 
in Maryland. Viewers may also be able to select which of the three 
programs to view. In terms of its ATSC 1.0 simulcast, the station 
will determine what programming to air on its ATSC 1.0 programming 
stream in these circumstances (i.e., one of the three programs or a 
broader newscast that includes elements of all three).
    \27\ We agree with NAB and ATVA that the local simulcasting 
requirement should not apply to ``content transmitted by means other 
than a real-time ATSC 3.0 broadcast transmission'' (e.g., a link to 
programming available over the internet).
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    20. Time Shifting. We do not consider programming that airs at a 
different time on the 1.0 simulcast channel than on the 3.0 primary 
channel to be substantially similar. Our goal in this regard is to 
ensure that popular programming continues to be aired on the 1.0 
channel at the time viewers generally expect it to be aired.
    21. The goal of our local simulcasting requirement is to preserve a 
station's existing service to viewers. To ensure that viewers are 
protected, it is important not only to require that television 
broadcasters continue to broadcast in the current ATSC 1.0 standard 
while ATSC 3.0 is being deployed, but also that they continue to air in 
ATSC 1.0 format the programming that viewers most want and expect to 
receive. We seek to ensure that broadcasters air their most popular, 
widely-viewed programming on their 1.0 simulcast channels so that 
viewers are not forced to purchase 3.0 capable equipment simply to 
continue to receive this programming rather than because they find the 
ATSC 3.0 technology particularly attractive.
    22. We find that our approach provides both flexibility and clear 
guidance to broadcasters regarding their simulcasting obligation. We 
also note that it is consistent with the expectation expressed by 
broadcasters that Next Gen TV signals will contain programming that is 
``substantially the same'' as the programming carried on the ATSC 1.0 
signal, taking into account the ability to enhance the 3.0 programming 
using the capabilities made possible by the new television 
standard.\28\
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    \28\ ONE Media Comments at 9 (``During the simulcast period, we 
expect that Next Gen signals will include programming that is either 
substantially the same, or that is comparable to the programming 
carried on the ATSC 1.0 signal, taking into account the ability to 
enhance that programming using the 3.0 capabilities.'').
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    23. We decline to adopt requirements regarding the format of the 
1.0 simulcast signal.\29\ We recognize that broadcasters may face 
spectrum constraints that could limit their ability to continue to 
provide HD programming or other enhanced formats on their 1.0 simulcast 
signals. Because simulcasting partnerships will require that more 
stations share the same amount of spectrum, stations may have less 
capacity for HD programming. Our existing rules do not require 
broadcasters to provide their signals in HD,\30\ and we decline to 
adopt such rules for purposes of the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 
service.\31\
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    \29\ Similarly, we decline to limit ATSC 1.0 host stations to 
transmitting only two HD video streams to avoid affecting the signal 
quality of the streams.
    \30\ DTV broadcasters are required only to transmit in SD.
    \31\ We also decline to require stations to disclose any planned 
change in signal quality as part of their simulcasting application 
or to permit the Commission to review and approve such changes, as 
advocated by Consumer Advocates. Our rules do not require HD service 
and we decline to consider the provision of such service as part of 
our review of simulcasting applications.
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    24. We recognize that if broadcasters that currently transmit in HD 
switch to standard definition (SD) in order to deploy ATSC 3.0 service, 
consumers may not receive HD signals.\32\ This change could affect both 
OTA viewers and MVPD subscribers, as MVPDs often rely on OTA reception 
of broadcast signals to retransmit local programming to their 
subscribers.\33\ Nevertheless, we expect that broadcasters will seek to 
provide the highest quality signals possible while they voluntarily 
deploy 3.0, as they do today.\34\ That is, while we urge broadcasters 
to continue to provide high quality/HD service on their 1.0 simulcast 
channels to the extent possible, we will rely on broadcasters' market-
based incentives to do so rather than mandating a specific format for 
simulcast channels.\35\ For the same

[[Page 5003]]

reasons, we also decline to require broadcasters that choose to convert 
their ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal from HD to SD, or otherwise change the 
quality of the signal, to deliver a higher resolution signal to 
MVPDs.\36\
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    \32\ A number of commenters express concern that a broadcaster 
serving as a host for the ATSC 1.0 simulcasts of other stations will 
degrade the HD quality of these streams as compared to their current 
HD programming, or no longer provide HD service at all on the 1.0 
simulcasts, in order to minimize the bandwidth the host station must 
devote to simulcast signals and thereby maximize available space for 
other broadcast streams. Some commenters also express concern that 
broadcasters may deliberately degrade ATSC 1.0 signal quality in 
order to ``encourage'' ATSC 3.0 adoption.
    \33\ According to ATVA, many of its members rely on OTA delivery 
of broadcast signals for more than half of the stations they 
retransmit and all of its members rely on OTA delivery as a backup 
to their other method of receiving the signals they retransmit. 
Small rural MVPDs are more likely to rely exclusively on OTA 
delivery of TV signals. While MVPDs that rely on OTA delivery could 
mitigate signal quality issues by obtaining delivery through 
alternate means, such as fiber, DBS transport, or reception and 
transcoding/down conversion of the ATSC 3.0 signal, such methods may 
require significant expenditures that small MVPDs in particular are 
less able to afford. In addition, even if an ATSC 3.0 signal could 
be received OTA at the MVPD headend, the equipment necessary to 
receive that signal off-air and to transcode/down convert it is not 
yet commercially available.
    \34\ Most broadcasters who address this issue argue that 
mandating a specific format for the 1.0 or 3.0 streams during the 
voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 would hamper the deployment of 3.0 
service.
    \35\ Pearl states that ``its members intend to keep their 
primary ATSC 1.0 signal in high definition during the transition'' 
because ``consumers expect this programming to be in high 
definition'' and ``network affiliation agreements as well as other 
programming agreements generally require network programming to be 
transmitted in HD.
    \36\ ATVA argues that the Commission should not rely on 
marketplace incentives because broadcasters might have competing 
economic incentives to take steps to try to drive consumers to buy 
new equipment for ATSC 3.0, including by degrading ATSC 1.0 signals. 
In light of broadcasters' representations that they will not take 
such action, and in the absence of any reliable record evidence to 
suggest that broadcasters are likely to behave in this manner, we 
decline to adopt additional restrictions, as requested by ATVA.
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b. Coverage Requirements for the ATSC 1.0 Simulcast Signal
    25. We next address the required coverage area for Next Gen TV 
stations that relocate their 1.0 simulcast signal to a temporary host 
station (and convert their existing facilities to ATSC 3.0). In 
particular, we address the extent to which the coverage area of the new 
1.0 simulcast signal must overlap with the station's existing ATSC 1.0 
coverage area. For full power broadcasters implementing Next Gen TV 
service in this manner, we require that the station's 1.0 simulcast 
channel retain and continue to cover the station's community of license 
and that it be assigned to the same DMA as the originating station.\37\ 
In addition, in evaluating applications filed by stations seeking to 
air their ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal on a partner host station, we will 
consider any loss in signal coverage resulting from the simulcast 
arrangement in determining whether to grant the application. We will 
consider more favorably simulcast arrangements with a service loss of 
no more than five percent of the population served by the station and 
will provide expedited processing of such applications.
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    \37\ We will consider stations that are not assigned to a DMA by 
Nielsen to be assigned to the DMA in which they are located.
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    26. This coverage requirement is consistent with our goal to 
minimize disruption to viewers as a result of the voluntary deployment 
of ATSC 3.0. If a station moves its ATSC 1.0 signal to a simulcast host 
station with a different transmitter location, existing OTA viewers may 
no longer be able to receive the signal. In addition, MVPDs that lose 
OTA reception of the signal at their local headend may no longer be 
able to carry the station. By requiring stations to continue to provide 
an ATSC 1.0 signal that covers their current community of license and 
encouraging them to keep coverage loss to five percent or less of the 
population currently receiving a 1.0 signal over the air, we will limit 
the number of current viewers and MVPD headends that will lose access 
to the OTA 1.0 signal as a result of local simulcasting. Although we 
agree that broadcasters have a market incentive to continue to reach 
their viewers during the implementation of ATSC 3.0 service, we do not 
believe it is appropriate to rely solely on market incentives when it 
comes to the selection of 1.0 simulcast partners given the potential 
impact of service loss on OTA viewers as well as MVPDs. We also decline 
to permit Next Gen TV stations to arrange for the simulcast of their 
ATSC 1.0 signal on another broadcast facility ``serving a substantially 
similar community of license,'' as proposed by Petitioners, as that 
standard would appear to permit a station to temporarily cease 
providing 1.0 service to its own community of license and could result 
in a significant reduction or change in the station's coverage area.
    27. Signal Relocation. Full power broadcasters implementing 3.0 
service must continue to provide 1.0 service to the station's existing 
community of license and comply with our community of license signal 
requirement. A full power Next Gen TV station that seeks to move its 
1.0 signal to a temporary simulcast host must choose a simulcast 
partner from whose transmitter site the Next Gen TV broadcaster will 
continue to meet the community of license signal requirement over its 
current community of license.\38\ This approach ensures that full power 
Next Gen TV broadcasters continue to provide 1.0 service to the local 
community they were licensed to serve, consistent with the goals 
underlying Section 307(b) of the Communications Act to ensure the 
provision of service to local communities.
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    \38\ Under the Commission's rules, a full power television 
station must locate its transmitter at a site from which it can 
place a principal community contour over its entire community of 
license.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    28. Class A, LPTV, and TV translator stations do not have a 
community of license signal requirement. For Class A stations that 
propose to broadcast their ATSC 1.0 signal from a temporary host 
facility, we will apply the existing 30-mile and contour overlap 
restrictions that apply to low power station moves. Thus, a Class A 
station that proposes to move its 1.0 signal in order to implement 3.0 
service: (1) Must maintain overlap between the protected contour of its 
existing and proposed 1.0 signal; and (2) may not relocate its 1.0 
simulcast signal more than 30 miles from the reference coordinates of 
the relocating station's antenna location.
    29. As discussed below, we exempt LPTV and TV translator stations 
from our local simulcasting requirement and permit them to transition 
directly from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 service. If an LPTV or TV translator 
station elects voluntarily to simulcast, however, and to move its 1.0 
signal to a temporary simulcast host in order to implement 3.0 service 
on its existing facilities, we require that the station comply with the 
restrictions we adopt above with respect to such moves by a Class A 
station.\39\ This approach is consistent with the goal of our local 
simulcasting requirement to protect existing viewers. We also note that 
LPTV and TV translator stations that elect to simulcast will benefit 
from the licensed simulcast approach we adopt herein that will, for 
example, permit them to partner with an NCE host station.\40\ Thus, we 
conclude that these stations should meet the same coverage requirements 
with respect to their ATSC 1.0 signal as other low power stations if 
they elect to simulcast and to move their 1.0 signal as part of a local 
simulcasting arrangement.
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    \39\ We also require that an LPTV or TV translator station that 
elects to simulcast comply with the other simulcasting requirements 
we adopt herein, including the substantially similar programming 
requirement.
    \40\ We note that an LPTV or TV translator station could 
alternatively choose to enter into a multicasting arrangement with a 
commercial host station rather than seeking a license to simulcast.
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    30. Expedited Processing. We provide expedited processing to full 
power, Class A, LPTV, and TV translator applications if the 1.0 
simulcast signal broadcast at the temporary host facility will serve at 
least 95 percent of the predicted population served by the originating 
station's 1.0 signal. The Commission has used a 95 percent population 
coverage threshold for purposes of expedited processing of applications 
both in the context of the DTV transition and the incentive auction 
repacking process, and we conclude that it is appropriate to adopt the 
same standard here.\41\ We anticipate

[[Page 5004]]

that the Media Bureau generally will be able to process applications 
qualifying for expedited processing within 15 business days after 
public notice of the filing of such applications. Applications that do 
not qualify for expedited processing will be considered on a case-by-
case basis. We expect generally to process applications that do not 
qualify for expedited processing within 60 business days after we give 
notice of the filing of the application in the Daily Digest. In 
addition to information regarding any population that will lose 1.0 
service as a result of the simulcast arrangement, such applications 
must contain the following information: (1) Whether there is another 
possible simulcast partner(s) in the market that would result in less 
1.0 service loss to existing viewers and, if so, why the Next Gen TV 
broadcaster chose to partner with a station creating a larger service 
loss; (2) what steps, if any, the station plans to take to minimize the 
impact of the 1.0 service loss (e.g., providing ATSC 3.0 dongles, set-
top boxes, or gateway devices to viewers in the loss area); and (3) the 
public interest benefits of the simulcast arrangement and a showing of 
why the station believes the benefit(s) of granting the application 
outweigh the harm(s).
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    \41\ The Commission used a 95% population coverage threshold in 
the context of the DTV transition for purposes of providing 
expedited processing to applications for construction of facilities 
on broadcasters' final, post-DTV transition channels. In addition, 
in the post-incentive auction repack the Commission provided 
expedited processing to applications for authorization for repacked 
facilities that, inter alia, are no more than five percent smaller 
than those specified in the Channel Reassignment PN with respect to 
predicted population served. Just because an application qualifies 
for expedited processing does not necessarily mean that the 
application will be granted. Applications that receive expedited 
review but that are not readily grantable by the Commission may 
require further action by the station. We disagree with NAB that 
expedited processing should apply if a 1.0 simulcast signal aired on 
a host station covers the originating station's community of 
license, without reference to loss of predicted population served by 
the 1.0 signal. NAB claims that such an approach ``mirrors the 
coverage area standard the Commission used during the DTV 
transition.'' We agree with NCTA that NAB's analogy to the DTV 
transition is inapt. While the Commission permitted stations to 
construct initial DTV facilities that served only their community of 
license, that decision was temporary and was accompanied by a ``use-
or-lose'' deadline for their final DTV facilities by which 
broadcasters were required either to replicate their analog coverage 
or lose DTV service protection to any unreplicated areas. Moreover, 
because viewers continued to receive analog service until the end of 
the DTV transition, the initial DTV build-out requirement to which 
NAB refers was not essential to preserve existing service to 
viewers. To ensure that existing viewers will continue to receive 
1.0 service, the Commission is using the same processing standard 
for 1.0 simulcast signals that it used for final DTV facilities, not 
the standard used in the initial DTV build-out.
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    31. Our approach appropriately balances the need to ensure 
continued provision of service to viewers while broadcasters 
voluntarily deploy ATSC 3.0 and permitting broadcasters sufficient 
flexibility to locate and select a simulcast partner. We believe that 
the vast majority of broadcasters in today's market should be able to 
find a simulcast partner that would enable them to qualify for 
expedited processing under this approach.\42\ In markets where it may 
not be possible for a station seeking to implement ATSC 3.0 service to 
find a 1.0 simulcast partner that would meet the test for expedited 
processing, the Next Gen TV broadcaster could seek regular (versus 
expedited) Commission approval of its simulcasting arrangement with the 
required additional showings, or seek a waiver of the simulcasting 
requirement. Broadcasters also have the option to continue to provide 
1.0 service on their existing facility while implementing 3.0 service 
on another station.\43\
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    \42\ Commission staff estimates that about 95% of full power 
stations are in a market where there is at least one other station 
in the market that could serve as a simulcast host station that 
would meet our community of license coverage requirement, and that 
75% of such stations are in markets where they would have at least 
four other stations that could serve as a potential simulcast host 
station under this requirement. In addition, approximately 80% of 
full power and Class A stations are in markets where there is at 
least one other station that could serve as a simulcast host that 
would qualify under our expedited processing standard. We also note 
that ONE Media ``expect[s] the instances in which simulcasting is 
not feasible to be the rare exception.'' ONE Media attached a list 
of television markets that will have either one, two, or three 
stations (after accounting for stations cleared in the incentive 
auction).
    For purposes of the community of license analysis, the staff did 
a pairwise study of the contours for all full-power and Class A 
stations, based on data from TVStudy, to count, for each station, 
the number of other stations' contours that contained a potential 
guest's community of license. For the expedited processing analysis, 
the staff looked at the service of all full-power and Class A 
stations, based on data from TVStudy, and did a pairwise study to 
count, for each station, the population of cells that are served by 
both the potential host station and the potential guest and compared 
that to the total population served by the potential guest.
    \43\ LPTV and TV translator stations also have the option to 
transition directly to ATSC 3.0 without simulcasting.
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    32. For stations electing to move their 1.0 simulcast channel to a 
temporary host station, we decline to limit service loss to only 0.5 
percent of the station's predicted population served, absent a waiver, 
as advocated by some commenters. In the context of the incentive 
auction, the Commission determined that no individual station 
reassignment made by the Commission pursuant to the repacking process 
would be permitted to reduce another station's population by more than 
0.5 percent. This standard was chosen to implement a statutory 
requirement to ``make all reasonable efforts'' to preserve a station's 
population served during the repacking process. We find that a somewhat 
less strict standard, that restricts population loss to five percent 
absent a showing that a greater loss is warranted, is appropriate to 
permit broadcasters sufficient flexibility to locate a simulcast 
partner while also protecting viewers from undue service 
disruption.\44\
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    \44\ We decline to adopt a rebuttable presumption that 
broadcasters that do not meet the 95% standard will have their 
simulcast applications denied by the Commission, as advocated by 
Consumer Advocates. We believe that this proposal would unduly 
restrict broadcasters' flexibility to find simulcast partners. As 
noted above, applicants that do not satisfy the 95% standard will be 
required to make a more detailed showing regarding their proposed 
simulcasting partnership than those that do meet the standard, and 
we conclude that this showing will enable Commission staff to 
adequately analyze these applications.
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    33. We also decline to require a station to demonstrate that it has 
made ``reasonable efforts'' to continue to air its ATSC 1.0 signal from 
its existing facility before permitting the station to simulcast that 
signal from a temporary host facility. Next Gen TV broadcasters have a 
market-based incentive to continue to serve their existing viewers, and 
the requirements we adopt herein provide additional incentives and 
protections to ensure continuity of service when possible. Our approach 
appropriately balances our goal of protecting existing viewers with the 
need to provide Next Gen TV broadcasters with flexibility to manage 
their deployment of ATSC 3.0 based on their station's and market's 
unique circumstances.
    34. In addition, we decline to require that stations that transmit 
their ATSC simulcast 1.0 signal from a new host facility reach the 
headends of all MVPDs that rely on OTA delivery or to reimburse MVPDs 
for the costs associated with reception and processing of an ATSC 1.0 
signal delivered from a new location.\45\ We note that our ATSC 1.0 
simulcast coverage requirement will help MVPDs that rely on OTA 
reception of TV signals, including many rural small MVPDs,\46\ by 
encouraging stations to maintain ATSC 1.0 signal coverage to most of 
their existing service contour, thus helping to ensure that these 
signals continue to reach an MVPD's headend or local receive facility. 
The Communications Act requires must-carry stations to assume 
responsibility

[[Page 5005]]

for delivery of a good-quality signal to MVPDs and, for retransmission 
consent stations, leaves allocation of responsibility to the parties. 
As discussed below, we decline to adopt rules at this time that alter 
the allocation of financial responsibility during retransmission 
consent negotiations for purposes of the voluntary deployment of ATSC 
3.0.
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    \45\ These costs include the cost to deliver a signal by 
alternate means, such as fiber, as well as the cost of new receivers 
and antennas. If a Next Gen TV broadcaster changes to a new 1.0 
simulcast host station, MVPDs could incur some of these costs more 
than once.
    \46\ According to ACA, small MVPDs, which are more likely to 
rely exclusively on OTA delivery of TV signals, are often located in 
rural areas on the edges of an existing service contour and are thus 
more likely to lose service. ACA Comments at 8. In addition, these 
MVPDs are less able to mitigate costs through fiber delivery than 
their small urban counterparts as they are less likely to be located 
in areas with existing fiber providers and thus more likely to 
require deployment of a more-expensive dedicated fiber strand or 
entire cable.
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c. Coverage Requirements for ATSC 3.0 Simulcast Signal
    35. We provide more location and coverage flexibility to Next Gen 
TV broadcasters that elect to continue broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 from 
their existing transmitter location \47\ and transmit an ATSC 3.0 
signal from a temporary host location.\48\ We will permit such 
broadcasters to establish 3.0 service anywhere within the same DMA as 
the broadcaster's existing station. We also will not consider the 
extent to which the population served by such stations overlaps with 
the population served by the existing ATSC 1.0 station.\49\ By 
providing more latitude for the location of the 3.0 signal, we hope to 
encourage Next Gen TV broadcasters to initiate 3.0 service on another 
facility initially while maintaining their 1.0 signal at the station's 
existing location, when possible, thereby avoiding disruption to 
viewers and MVPDs. We accord this flexibility in order to facilitate 
the implementation of ATSC 3.0 and because we are less concerned about 
the provision of Next Gen TV 3.0 service to a station's existing 
viewers, particularly early in the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0, 
than we are with preserving ATSC 1.0 service to those viewers.
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    \47\ By existing transmitter location, we mean a station's 
licensed transmitter site immediately prior to either implementation 
of ATSC 3.0 service or initiation of an ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal on 
a partner simulcast host station.
    \48\ A Next Gen TV broadcaster that converts to ATSC 3.0 
operation on their existing facility must provide 3.0 service to 
their existing service area.
    \49\ We do not establish a separate community of license or 
coverage requirement for 3.0 ``guest'' signals because these 
broadcasters will continue to provide ATSC 1.0 service to their 
existing community of license.
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d. Simulcast Exceptions for LPTV and TV Translator Stations
    36. We exempt LPTV and TV translator stations from our local 
simulcasting requirement and allow these stations to elect to 
transition directly to 3.0 service. LPTV and TV translator stations 
electing to transition directly must first file an application to 
convert their facilities to 3.0 operation. In addition, they must 
comply with the MVPD notification and consumer education requirements 
adopted herein.
    37. We adopt this simulcast exception for LPTV and TV translator 
stations in recognition of the fact that they face unique challenges in 
locating a simulcast partner. As a practical matter, many are not 
located near another LPTV or TV translator station and they may not be 
attractive simulcast partners for full power stations because of their 
lower power and coverage area. In addition, because LPTV and TV 
translator stations are secondary, they are subject to displacement by 
primary full power and Class A stations, further reducing their 
desirability as partner host stations. Absent an exemption from our 
local simulcasting requirement, LPTV and TV translator stations could 
be denied the opportunity to implement ATSC 3.0 service until the 
Commission eliminates the simulcast requirement.\50\
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    \50\ Other commenters oppose permitting LPTV stations to 
transition directly to ATSC 3.0.
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    38. We recognize that permitting LPTV and TV translator stations to 
transition directly to ATSC 3.0 could deprive those OTA viewers without 
ATSC 3.0 TV sets or converter equipment of the important programming 
these stations provide. MVPD subscribers could also be affected if 
MVPDs are not prepared to carry ATSC 3.0 signals on the date of a 
direct transition. Although we recognize that permitting LPTV and TV 
translator stations to transition directly may cause some consumer 
disruption, in light of the unique circumstances faced by LPTV and TV 
translator stations we conclude that providing these stations with the 
option to transition directly will best ensure that they are able to 
deploy ATSC 3.0 technology.
    39. Exempting LPTV and TV translator stations from the local 
simulcasting requirement will have the added benefit of allowing these 
stations to serve as ``lighthouse'' stations, thereby providing an ATSC 
3.0 host option for other full power, Class A, LPTV, and TV translator 
stations that wish to partner with them.\51\ LPTV stations could, 
therefore, serve an important role in market-wide simulcast 
arrangements by permitting other stations to experiment with 3.0 
service while maintaining ATSC 1.0 service on their existing facility. 
As noted above, our goal is to encourage Next Gen TV broadcasters to 
initiate 3.0 service on another facility initially while maintaining 
their 1.0 simulcast signal at the station's existing location, when 
possible, to help avoid disruption to viewers and MVPDs. LPTV stations 
that elect to transition directly and to serve as ATSC 3.0 host 
stations could thus play a significant role in facilitating the 
conversion to 3.0 technology.\52\ While viewers without ATSC 3.0-
capable equipment would lose access to LPTV and TV translator stations 
that elect to transition directly, these stations may also provide 
innovative 3.0 programming that could help drive consumer adoption of 
such equipment. Thus, on balance, we believe that the benefit of 
permitting these stations to transition directly outweighs the 
potential harm.
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    \51\ A full power station airing a channel on a partner LPTV 
host station would be limited to the LPTV reduced power level on 
that channel and would lose its primary interference protections.
    \52\ NAB does not object to permitting LPTV stations to 
transition directly to ATSC 3.0 and agrees that these stations can 
serve an important role in the deployment of Next Gen TV.
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    40. Finally, our decision to exempt LPTV and TV translator stations 
from our local simulcasting requirement will ensure that analog LPTV 
and TV translator stations and stations that have been displaced due to 
the post-incentive auction repacking process are not forced to build 
both an ATSC 1.0 and an ATSC 3.0 facility. The Commission has 
determined that LPTV and TV translator stations must complete their 
transition to digital service by July 13, 2021.\53\ The Commission 
previously changed this deadline to ensure that analog LPTV and TV 
translator stations would not be forced to complete their digital 
conversion only to find that their newly constructed digital facilities 
were displaced as a result of the incentive auction repacking process, 
thus necessitating a significant additional expenditure to locate a new 
channel and modify their digital facilities accordingly.\54\ Many 
digital LPTV stations will also be required to seek new channels and 
construct new facilities as a result of the incentive auction. By 
exempting LPTV and TV translator stations from the simulcasting 
requirement, we similarly avoid forcing

[[Page 5006]]

these stations to make significant expenditures in new ATSC 1.0 
facilities by July 13, 2021 only later to be faced with a further 
expenditure of resources if the station chooses to convert those 
facilities to ATSC 3.0.\55\
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    \53\ In 2015, the Commission extended the deadline for analog 
LPTV and TV translator stations to complete their transition to 
digital service. Specifically, the Commission set a digital 
transition date for analog LPTV and TV translator stations of 12 
months after the completion of the 39-month Post-Auction Transition 
Period (the 39-month period during which full power and Class A 
stations assigned to new channels in the Incentive Auction repacking 
process will transition to their new channels). The Commission has 
determined that the 39-month Post-Auction Transition Period will end 
on July 13, 2020. Accordingly, the deadline for analog LPTV and TV 
translator stations to transition to digital technology is July 13, 
2021.
    \54\ Absent a change in the deadline to complete construction of 
their digital facilities, LPTV and TV translator stations displaced 
in the repacking process would have been required to find a new 
channel and modify their new digital facilities or cease operations 
if they were unable to find a new channel.
    \55\ The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition supports permitting 
newly authorized LPTV stations not yet constructed to transition 
directly to ATSC 3.0.
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    41. We decline to restrict the ability of LPTV and TV translator 
stations affiliated with a broadcast network to directly transition, as 
advocated by ATVA.\56\ We are not persuaded that there is any reasoned 
basis to give network affiliated stations less flexibility than other 
secondary stations in this respect.\57\ These stations may face the 
same challenges finding a simulcast partner as other LPTV and TV 
translator stations, and we believe they should have the same 
opportunity to serve as potential ATSC 3.0 ``lighthouse'' stations.\58\ 
We note that we are affording LPTV and TV translator stations with the 
opportunity to transition directly, but are not requiring them to do 
so.\59\ Thus, any LPTV or TV translator station that wishes to deploy 
ATSC 3.0 service may elect to air both an ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 stream 
by partnering with another station rather than transitioning directly. 
Stations that transition directly could also consider taking steps to 
minimize the disruption to viewers, such as offering free converter 
devices (e.g., an external tuner dongle, set-top box, or gateway 
device) that enable ATSC 1.0-only receivers to be upgraded to receive 
ATSC 3.0 transmissions. LPTV and TV translator stations that elect 
voluntarily to simulcast must comply with the simulcasting requirements 
we adopt herein, including the substantially similar programming 
requirement and the coverage requirements related to ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 
signals. Applying these requirements to LPTV and TV translator stations 
that simulcast is consistent with the goal of our simulcasting 
requirement to protect existing viewers and is appropriate in light of 
the benefits these stations will receive as a result of their simulcast 
license.
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    \56\ ATVA states, however, that it ``takes no position'' on 
whether a simulcasting requirement should apply to LPTV stations 
that are not carried by any MVPD, not required to be carried by any 
MVPD under the must-carry statute, and remain unaffiliated with any 
network. ATVA later expressed the view that any exemption from the 
simulcast requirement should be limited to stations other than the 
top-six rated stations.
    \57\ A Commission staff analysis of SNL Kagan data as of Apr. 
15, 2017 shows that 42 of 258 LPTV stations are affiliated with a 
top-four broadcast network (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox).
    \58\ Network affiliates may also have contractual obligations 
that limit their ability to transition directly.
    \59\ We agree with ATVA that LPTV and TV translator stations 
should have the opportunity to convert to ATSC 3.0 and arrange for 
the simulcast of their ATSC 1.0 signal on a partner simulcast host 
station.
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e. Waiver of the Simulcasting and Local Coverage Requirements
    42. We will consider requests for waiver of our local simulcasting 
and coverage requirements on a case-by-case basis. This includes 
requests from full power and Class A television stations to transition 
directly from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 service on the station's existing 
facility without providing a 1.0 simulcast as well as requests to air a 
1.0 simulcast channel from a host location that does not cover all or a 
portion of the station's community of license or from which the station 
can provide only a lower signal threshold over the community than that 
required by the rules.\60\ We are inclined to consider favorably 
requests for waiver where the Next Gen TV station can demonstrate that 
it has no viable local simulcasting partner in its market and where the 
station agrees to make reasonable efforts to preserve 1.0 service to 
existing viewers in its community of license and/or otherwise minimize 
the impact on such viewers (for example, by providing free or low cost 
ATSC 3.0 converters to viewers). In the Further Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking, we sought further comment on two issues related to waivers 
and exceptions: (1) Whether to provide further guidance on how we will 
evaluate requests for waiver of the local simulcasting requirement; and 
(2) whether we should exempt NCE and/or Class A stations (as a class) 
from our local simulcasting requirement or adopt a presumptive waiver 
standard for such stations.
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    \60\ The Commission may waive its rules if good cause is shown. 
We are not inclined to consider favorably requests to change 
community of license solely to enable simulcasting. We will, 
however, consider a waiver if necessary for a station to comply with 
the local simulcasting requirement, based on the facts presented. We 
note that the required showing to justify waiver of the community of 
license coverage requirement is different from the showing required 
by simulcast license applicants that do not qualify for expedited 
processing, discussed above.
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    43. Commenters, including both broadcasters and MVPDs, support 
waivers of the simulcasting requirement for broadcasters that are 
unable to enter into simulcasting arrangements. We are aware that some 
full power and Class A stations may face a unique challenge in meeting 
our local simulcasting requirement. For example, PTV notes that public 
television stations are often not sited based on DMA boundaries because 
many statewide networks licensed to state agencies or commissions are 
required to serve their entire state regardless of cross-state DMA 
boundaries. As a result, certain public stations may find it difficult 
to find a simulcast partner. Other stations in small markets and/or 
rural areas may face similar challenges in meeting our simulcasting 
requirement.\61\ We also recognize that, as the implementation of Next 
Gen TV progresses and more stations convert to ATSC 3.0, it may become 
increasingly difficult for broadcasters to find suitable partners for 
local simulcasting. Our waiver standard is intended to facilitate the 
provision of a waiver in these circumstances to ensure that all 
stations have the opportunity to participate in the voluntary 
deployment of ATSC 3.0.
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    \61\ Single-station markets present the most obvious example of 
situations in which simulcasting may not be possible.
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3. Licensing Issues
a. Licensed Simulcast Approach
    44. We require that 1.0 and 3.0 channels aired on a partner host 
station be licensed as temporary second channels of the originating 
broadcaster. That is, the ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 signals of a Next Gen 
TV broadcaster will be two separately authorized companion channels 
under the broadcaster's single, unified license.\62\ Next Gen TV 
broadcasters will be required to file an application and obtain 
Commission approval before a 1.0 simulcast channel or a 3.0 channel 
aired on a partner host station can go on the air, and before an 
existing 1.0 station can convert to 3.0 operation or back to 1.0 
operation. However, as discussed further below, we adopt a streamlined 
``one-step'' process for reviewing and approving such applications to 
minimize the burden on both Next Gen TV broadcasters and the 
Commission.\63\
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    \62\ The companion channel aired on a partner host station will 
be considered part of the guest station's license and may not be 
separately assigned to a third party.
    \63\ Normally, licensing is a two-step process. A broadcaster 
must first file an application for a construction permit (CP) and 
obtain approval from the Commission for the CP and then, once 
construction is complete, file an application for a license to cover 
the CP and wait for Commission approval of the license to cover. We 
will process applications seeking changes to facilities and licenses 
that require the filing of a construction permit pursuant to our 
existing processes.
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    45. The partner host and guest station(s) in a simulcast 
arrangement will continue to be licensed separately and each station 
will have its own call sign. Each licensee will be independently 
subject to all of the Commission's obligations, rules, and policies. 
The Commission retains the

[[Page 5007]]

right to enforce any violation of these requirements against one, more 
than one, or all parties to a simulcast agreement. As is always the 
case, the Commission would take into account all relevant facts and 
circumstances in any enforcement action, including the relevant 
contractual obligations of the parties involved.
    46. We sought comment in the Next Gen TV NPRM on whether simulcasts 
should be separately licensed as second channels of the originating 
station or treated as multicast streams of the host station.\64\ We 
conclude that a licensed simulcast approach is preferable to a 
multicast approach for several reasons. First, it will allow NCE 
stations to serve as hosts to commercial stations' simulcast 
programming. Section 399B of the Communications Act provides that 
``[n]o public broadcast station may make its facilities available to 
any person for the broadcasting of any advertisement.'' \65\ Under a 
multicast approach, an NCE station would be prohibited from hosting the 
simulcast programming of a commercial station on a multicast stream 
because the stream would be aired on the ``facilities'' of the NCE 
licensee. Under the licensed simulcast approach we adopt herein, 
however, the ``facilities'' are no longer exclusively the facilities of 
the NCE station, as each station has a right to use the facilities 
pursuant to its separate license and contractual rights. A commercial 
stream aired on a partner NCE station will be separately licensed and 
authorized to use the host's channel, therefore permitting an NCE 
station to serve as a host to a commercial stream.
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    \64\ As proposed in the NPRM, we establish a new service group 
code of NGDTV in LMS to signify the various classes of ATSC 3.0 
stations, including NGDTV for full-service 3.0, NGDTS for DTS/SFN 
3.0, NGLPT for low-power translator 3.0 stations, NGDCA for Class A, 
and NGLPD for low-power 3.0 stations. This means 3.0 channels will 
receive a ``-NG'' suffix to their call signs (e.g., WZYX-NG'') to 
contrast to their 1.0 simulcast channels which will keep their 
suffixes.
    \65\ The Act defines an advertisement as ``any message or other 
programming material which is broadcast or otherwise transmitted in 
exchange for any remuneration. . . .''
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    47. Second, the licensed simulcast approach clarifies the carriage 
rights of simulcast signals. Because multicast signals are not entitled 
to carriage rights, treating simulcast signals as multicast channels 
under a host's license raises the question as to whether such signals 
have mandatory carriage rights. As discussed below, a Next Gen TV 
broadcaster's licensed ATSC 1.0 signal will be entitled to carriage 
whether aired on the Next Gen TV broadcaster's own facility or that of 
a simulcast host.
    48. Third, the licensed simulcast approach makes it clear that the 
originating station (and not the host) is responsible for regulatory 
compliance regarding its 1.0 simulcast or 3.0 signal being aired on a 
host station and gives the Commission clear enforcement authority over 
the originating station in the event of a violation of our rules.
b. Licensing Procedure
    49. We require that a Next Gen TV broadcaster file an application 
with the Commission, and receive approval, before: (1) Moving its 1.0 
signal to a temporary simulcast host station or moving its 1.0 
simulcast to a different host station, or discontinuing a 1.0 guest 
signal; (2) commencing the airing of a 3.0 channel on a 3.0 host 
station (that has already converted to 3.0 operation), moving its 3.0 
channel to a different host station, or discontinuing a 3.0 guest 
signal; or (3) converting its existing station to 3.0 operation or from 
3.0 back to 1.0. For all of these applications, we adopt a streamlined 
one-step process that will require the filing of only an application 
for modification of license (i.e., without first filing an application 
for a construction permit), provided no other changes are being 
requested in the application that would require the filing of an 
application for a construction permit under the Commission's rules.\66\ 
A broadcaster seeking to air a 1.0 signal on a simulcast host station 
or to air a 3.0 signal on a host station is required to file the 
appropriate license schedule to FCC Form 2100 identifying, among other 
information, the station serving as the host and the technical 
facilities of the host station. Where the broadcaster seeks to air its 
1.0 signal on a simulcast host station, the broadcaster must also 
indicate on the application (1) the predicted population within the 
noise limited service contour served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 
signal, (2) the predicted population within the noise limited service 
contour served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal that will lose 
the station's ATSC 1.0 service as a result of the simulcasting 
arrangement, including identifying areas of service loss by providing a 
contour overlap map,\67\ and (3) whether the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal 
aired on the host station will serve at least 95 percent of the 
predicted population within the noise limited service contour served by 
the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal (that is, whether the 
application qualifies as a ``checklist'' application eligible for 
expedited processing). Alternatively, where a Next Gen TV broadcaster 
seeks to air a 3.0 signal on a partner host station, the broadcaster 
must indicate in the application the DMA of the originating 
broadcaster's facility and the DMA of the host station. The host 
station does not need to take action in connection with these 
applications if no technical changes are necessary to its 
facilities.\68\ We anticipate that in most, if not all, cases, no such 
changes will be required.
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    \66\ In all other circumstances, a broadcaster must continue to 
follow existing Commission processes and rules for modifying their 
existing facility through the filing of a construction permit 
application followed by an application for license to cover. 
(identifying the changes to full power and Class A television 
station facilities that require the filing of a construction permit) 
and 74.751 (identifying the changes to LPTV and TV translator 
stations that require the filing of a construction permit 
application). Broadcasters must also continue to notify the 
Commission of modifications to their facilities that do not require 
the filing of a construction permit as otherwise required by the 
rules. By technical or facility changes, we are referring only to 
changes that are regulated by the Commission and not to other 
changes (i.e., software) that are not regulated by the Commission.
    \67\ We therefore agree with ACA that stations must include with 
their applications a contour overlap map identifying the areas of 
service loss.
    \68\ A host station must first make any necessary changes to its 
facilities before a guest station may file an application to air an 
ATSC 1.0 or 3.0 signal on the host. The Commission will include a 
note on the host station's license identifying any ``guest'' ATSC 
1.0 or ATSC 3.0 streams being transmitted on the station.
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    50. While a full power station seeking to change its channel 
normally must first submit a petition to amend the DTV Table of 
Allotments, as we proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM we do not apply this 
process in the context of licensed simulcasting. We conclude that 
amendments to the DTV table are not required for these channel changes 
as they are temporary and because stations may change locations and 
hosts multiple times while local simulcasting is required.
    51. A broadcaster seeking to convert its existing station to 3.0 
transmissions is required to file the appropriate license schedule to 
FCC Form 2100 and, absent a waiver of the local simulcasting 
requirement, simultaneously file on the appropriate license schedule to 
FCC Form 2100 an application to move its 1.0 signal to a simulcast host 
station. Absent a waiver, these broadcasters may not commence 3.0 
operation on their existing facility before their 1.0 simulcast begins 
airing on the simulcast host station. If a broadcaster seeks to move 
its 3.0 or 1.0 simulcast signal to a different host station, it is 
required to file the appropriate license schedule to FCC Form 2100 and 
wait until it receives Commission approval of the application before 
airing the signal on the new host facility.
    52. The Commission will act on all applications as quickly as 
possible.

[[Page 5008]]

Applications will appear on the Media Bureau's Broadcast Applications 
Public Notice, which appears every day in the Daily Digest.\69\ Grant 
of an application will also appear in the Daily Digest. We expect 
generally to process applications that qualify for expedited processing 
within 15 business days after we give notice of the filing of the 
application in the Daily Digest and within 60 business days after we 
give notice of the filing of the application in the Daily Digest for 
applications that do not qualify for expedited processing. A station 
may commence operations pursuant to its simulcast agreement only after 
grant of the necessary applications and consistent with any other 
restrictions placed on stations by the Commission.\70\
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    \69\ Informal objections may be filed with respect to such 
applications.
    \70\ Stations will not be permitted to commence ATSC 3.0 or ATSC 
1.0 simulcast (on a simulcast host facility) operations pursuant to 
automatic program test authority.
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    53. We will treat applications filed to implement simulcasting and 
the conversion of a station to ATSC 3.0 operation as applications for 
modification of license. While a change in channel is normally a major 
change under our rules, we conclude that it is appropriate to treat 
channel changes made to comply with the local simulcasting requirement 
as minor changes to a license because the guest will be assuming the 
authorized technical facilities of the host station, meaning that 
compliance with our interference and other technical rules would have 
been addressed in licensing the host station.\71\ It also is 
appropriate to dispense with the requirement that broadcasters file an 
application for a construction permit in connection with ATSC 3.0 
deployment-related changes that do not involve a change in the 
station's facilities that normally requires prior Commission approval 
\72\ because simulcast arrangements will be temporary and may change 
over time as more stations convert to 3.0 technology.\73\ In addition, 
we find that the streamlined one-step licensing process we adopt herein 
is warranted where approval is sought to air a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on an 
existing host facility operating at established parameters. Similarly, 
a streamlined process is appropriate for use in connection with a 
station converting from 1.0 to 3.0 operation where no technical changes 
requiring Commission approval to an existing, licensed facility are 
required.\74\
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    \71\ We proposed to treat such channel changes as minor 
modifications in the Next Gen TV NPRM.
    \72\ While we proposed to require applicants to file a 
construction permit, we adopt a different approach for the reasons 
set forth above. In addition, while the Commission required stations 
seeking to channel share to apply for a construction permit, we 
conclude a more streamlined process is appropriate with respect to 
simulcasting arrangements because they are temporary.
    \73\ For example, stations may move from one 1.0 simulcast host 
to another as more stations in the market convert to 3.0 operations.
    \74\ A station can convert from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 in most 
cases by simply changing the exciter. Most new transmitters 
available today are already ATSC 3.0 compatible. The interference 
characteristics of both standards are functionally identical.
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    54. This one-step process is only slightly more burdensome for 
broadcasters than the simple notification procedure, with no Commission 
approval required, supported by several broadcast commenters. These 
commenters advocate that broadcasters simply notify the Commission of 
the station's simulcasting plans, either via a letter or on a form 
provided by the Commission. We believe that submission of an 
application followed by Commission review and approval is necessary to 
ensure compliance with Section 308 of the Communications Act and the 
local simulcasting and other requirements we adopt herein. Our 
streamlined one-step process provides sufficient flexibility to 
broadcasters that may need to modify their simulcasting arrangements as 
the deployment of ATSC 3.0 progresses. Finally, as noted above, while 
we require that broadcasters provide their simulcast agreements to the 
Commission upon request, we do not require them to be filed with their 
simulcast applications, thus further simplifying the application 
process. We delegate authority to the Media Bureau for the narrow 
purpose of amending FCC Form 2100 as necessary to implement the 
licensing process adopted herein.
    55. In the event a station must make changes that require prior 
Commission approval as part of the deployment of ATSC 3.0 (i.e., to 
convert a station from 1.0 to 3.0 technology or back to 1.0, to enable 
a station to serve as a host for a 1.0 simulcast signal, or to enable a 
station that has already converted to 3.0 technology to serve as a host 
for a 3.0 signal), we will use the existing two-step (construction 
permit and license to cover) application process to approve these 
changes.\75\
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    \75\ For example, if a full power host station needs to install 
a new antenna that would normally require the filing of an 
application for a construction permit, the station must follow the 
Commission's usual two-step licensing process. For example, if the 
host station needs to adjust its omnidirectional antenna no more 
than two meters above or four meters below its authorized values, it 
must file only a license modification application. Stations may make 
such minor license modifications when applying to convert their 
facility from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 under the one-step process.
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C. Temporary Use of Vacant Channels

    56. We sought comment in the Next Gen TV NPRM on whether we should 
allow broadcasters to use available or vacant in-band channels to 
establish temporary host facilities for ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 channels 
for purposes of local simulcasting. We decline to authorize the use of 
available channels for this purpose in this Order as we conclude such 
action raises a number of issues that require further opportunity for 
comment and Commission consideration.

D. MVPD Carriage

    57. We discuss in this section the MVPD carriage rights of 
broadcasters that choose to deploy ATSC 3.0 service. We conclude that a 
Next Gen TV broadcaster's 1.0 simulcast channel will retain mandatory 
carriage rights and its 3.0 channel will not have mandatory carriage 
rights while the Commission requires local simulcasting. ATSC 1.0 
channels relocating to a temporary host facility can retain mandatory 
carriage rights which they were exercising at their original location, 
provided they continue to qualify for such rights at the host facility 
location; we do not permit those channels to gain new mandatory 
carriage rights as a result of their new location. In addition, we 
require must-carry Next Gen TV broadcasters and retransmission consent 
Next Gen TV broadcasters relocating their 1.0 simulcast channel to 
provide notice to affected MVPDs at least 90 days in advance of the 
move, and 120 days in advance if the move occurs during the incentive 
auction repacking period. We decline to adopt any additional rules 
regarding the carriage of ATSC 3.0 pursuant to retransmission consent. 
Such carriage will be voluntary, and we find that voluntary carriage 
issues are best left to marketplace negotiations between broadcasters 
and MVPDs. Finally, in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we 
tentatively concluded that local simulcasting should not change the 
significantly viewed status of a Next Gen TV station.\76\
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    \76\ Until we address this issue raised in the Further Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, we impose a freeze on the filing of any 
requests to change the significantly viewed status of Next Gen TV 
stations moving their 1.0 simulcast channel. We note that we need 
not address here how local simulcasting may impact the ability of 
stations to exercise their network nonduplication and syndicated-
exclusivity rights (exclusivity rules). Because we do not allow Next 
Gen TV stations to change their communities of license, exclusivity 
zones of protection should not change. To the extent a station files 
for a community of license change solely to enable simulcasting, we 
will consider the impact on the exclusivity rules on a case-by-case 
basis.

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[[Page 5009]]

1. Mandatory Carriage of Next Gen TV Stations
    58. The Communications Act establishes slightly different 
thresholds for mandatory carriage depending on whether the television 
station is full power or low-power, or commercial or noncommercial, and 
also depending on whether carriage is sought from a cable operator or 
satellite carrier. The carriage rights of commercial stations on cable 
systems are set forth in Section 614 of the Act.\77\ The carriage 
rights of full power NCE stations on cable systems are set forth in 
Section 615 of the Act.\78\ The carriage rights of full power stations 
(both commercial and NCE) on satellite carriers are set forth in 
Section 338 of the Act.\79\
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    \77\ Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 534(a), ``[e]ach cable operator shall 
carry, on the cable system of that operator, the signals of local 
commercial television stations . . . as provided by this section.'' 
The term ``local commercial television station'' means ``any full 
power television broadcast station, other than a qualified 
noncommercial educational television station . . . licensed and 
operating on a channel regularly assigned to its community by the 
Commission that, with respect to a particular cable system, is 
within the same television market as the cable system.'' 
``Television market'' is defined by Commission's rules as a 
Designated Market Area (DMA). The must-carry rights of low power 
stations, including Class A stations, on cable systems are set forth 
in Section 614(c) of the Act. Under very narrow circumstances, such 
stations can become ``qualified'' and eligible for must carry. Among 
the several requirements for reaching ``qualified'' status with 
respect to a particular cable operator, the station must be 
``located no more than 35 miles from the cable system's headend.''
    \78\ 47 U.S.C. 535(a) provides that ``each cable operator of a 
cable system shall carry the signals of qualified noncommercial 
educational television stations in accordance with the provisions of 
this section.'' A qualified noncommercial educational station can be 
considered ``local,'' and thus eligible for mandatory carriage on a 
cable system, in one of two ways. It may either be licensed to a 
principal community within 50 miles of the system's headend, or 
place a ``Grade B'' (noise-limited service contour) signal over the 
headend.
    \79\ A full power ``television broadcast station'' is entitled 
to request carriage by a satellite carrier any time that carrier 
relies on the statutory copyright license in 17 U.S.C. 122 to 
retransmit the signal of any other ``local'' station (i.e., one 
located in the same DMA). 47 U.S.C. 338(a)(1) (``[e]ach satellite 
carrier providing . . . secondary transmissions to subscribers 
located within the local market of a television broadcast station of 
a primary transmission made by that station shall carry upon request 
the signals of all television broadcast stations located within that 
local market. . .''). This is commonly referred to as the ``carry 
one, carry all'' requirement. A ``television broadcast station'' is 
defined as ``an over-the-air commercial or noncommercial television 
broadcast station licensed by the Commission.'' Low-power stations, 
including Class A stations, do not have satellite carriage rights.
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a. Only 1.0 Has Mandatory Carriage Rights
    59. We adopt the proposal in the Next Gen TV NPRM \80\ that MVPDs 
must continue to carry Next Gen TV broadcasters' ATSC 1.0 signals, 
pursuant to their statutory mandatory carriage obligations, and that 
MVPDs will not be required to carry broadcasters' ATSC 3.0 signals 
during the period when local simulcasting is required. Most commenters, 
including Petitioners, other broadcasters, MVPDs and Consumer Groups 
support this result.
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    \80\ We note that the Petitioners state that MVPDs ``should not 
be obligated to carry'' a Next Gen TV broadcaster's ATSC 3.0 signal 
and that MVPDs could satisfy their obligation to carry a Next Gen TV 
station's signal by carrying the station's ATSC 1.0 signal.
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    60. We interpret the Communications Act to accord mandatory 
carriage rights to the signals of ATSC 1.0 simulcast channels, 
including those that are hosting another 1.0 channel and those that are 
guest licensees at a temporary host location. Thus, stations 
broadcasting in the mandatory ATSC 1.0 transmission standard will 
retain carriage rights. Nothing in the Act requires a station to occupy 
an entire 6 MHz channel in order to be eligible for must-carry rights; 
rather, the station must simply be a licensee eligible for carriage 
under the applicable provision of the Act. Under our local simulcasting 
rules, guest and host 1.0 simulcast stations will be separately 
licensed and authorized to operate on the same 6 MHz channel (i.e., the 
host's original channel). Therefore, each 1.0 station may properly 
assert mandatory carriage rights under the Act because each will be 
``licensed and operating on a channel'' that is ``regularly assigned to 
its community'' by the Commission. This interpretation of the Act is 
consistent with our decisions authorizing broadcast channel sharing, in 
which the Commission found that both licensees of a shared channel 
would have carriage rights.\81\ No commenters oppose this conclusion.
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    \81\ 47 U.S.C. 534, 535, and 338 accord carriage rights to 
licensees without regard to whether they occupy a full 6 MHz channel 
or share a channel with another licensee. Nothing in the 
Communications Act requires a station to occupy an entire 6 MHz 
channel in order to be eligible for must-carry rights; rather, the 
station must simply be a licensee eligible for carriage under the 
applicable provision of the Communications Act. 47 U.S.C. 534 
defines a ``local commercial television station'' as any commercial 
full power station ``licensed and operating on a channel regularly 
assigned to its community by the Commission . . . .''
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    61. We also conclude that Next Gen TV broadcasters will have 
mandatory carriage rights for their 1.0 signals and not their 3.0 
signals while the Commission requires local simulcasting. Most 
commenters agree with this result, even though they may differ on how 
to achieve it. Thus, a Next Gen TV broadcaster will choose between must 
carry or retransmission consent for its ATSC 1.0 signal, but may only 
pursue carriage via retransmission consent for its ATSC 3.0 signal. 
This approach is consistent with the framework used during the DTV 
transition. In that context, the Commission found that, with regard to 
licensees that were simultaneously broadcasting analog and digital 
signals, analog signals would have mandatory carriage rights during the 
DTV transition and digital signals would not. That is, a broadcaster 
would choose between must carry or retransmission consent for its 
analog signal but could only pursue carriage via retransmission consent 
for its digital signal. The Commission concluded that the 
Communications Act did not require cable operators to carry both the 
digital and analog signals (also referred to as ``dual carriage'') of a 
DTV broadcaster during the DTV transition when television stations were 
still broadcasting analog signals.\82\
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    \82\ The Commission explained that the Communications Act is 
ambiguous on the issue of dual carriage and concluded that mandating 
dual carriage was not necessary either to advance the governmental 
interests identified by Congress in enacting the must carry statute 
or to effectuate the DTV transition. The Commission observed that 
doubling the carriage rights of must carry stations would 
substantially increase the burdens on cable operators' free speech. 
The Commission concluded, in the absence of a clear statutory 
requirement for dual carriage, it would not impose such burdens on 
cable operators' free speech.
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    62. We make the analogous finding here that the Act does not 
require carriage of both an ATSC 1.0 and an ATSC 3.0 signal of the same 
broadcaster.\83\ Because of the local simulcasting requirement, there 
will be a redundancy of basic content between the 1.0 and the 3.0 
signals. If we imposed a must carry requirement for both signals, cable 
operators could be required to carry double the number of television 
signals of virtually identical content. Moreover, at the initial stages 
of the voluntary deployment of 3.0, consumers likely will not have the 
equipment to allow them to display the 3.0 signals. Requiring carriage 
of such signals therefore would not further the objective of must-carry 
requirements to promote the availability of OTA broadcasting. Thus, we 
agree with

[[Page 5010]]

NCTA and other MVPD commenters that ``requiring carriage of the 3.0 
signal in addition to the 1.0 signal would result in virtually no 
incremental viewership of broadcast programming while seriously 
compounding the burden on cable operators' available bandwidth.''
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    \83\ As the Commission found in the DTV transition context, we 
likewise find here that the Communications Act is ambiguous on the 
issue of dual carriage of 1.0 and 3.0 signals and conclude that 
mandating dual carriage is not necessary to either advance the 
governmental interests identified by Congress in enacting the must 
carry statute or to effectuate voluntary 3.0 deployment.
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    63. In addition, a Next Gen TV broadcaster will not be able to 
exercise mandatory carriage rights with respect to its 3.0 signal 
instead of its 1.0 signal, nor will it have mandatory carriage rights 
even if its 3.0 signal is the only signal being broadcast. In other 
words, under no circumstances will we recognize mandatory carriage 
rights for 3.0 signals while the Commission requires local 
simulcasting.\84\ The Act does not specify whether there can be 
mandatory carriage rights in circumstances where a broadcaster has made 
a voluntary choice to stop broadcasting using the mandatory 
transmission standard. In addition, the Act gives the Commission 
discretion to ``establish any changes in the signal carriage 
requirements'' for purposes of advancements in technology.\85\ We find 
that mandating any MVPD carriage of the 3.0 signal at this time would 
be antithetical to a voluntary and market-driven 3.0 deployment for all 
stakeholders and would not advance the interests under the must-carry 
regime.\86\ The record shows that MVPDs would need to purchase new 
equipment to receive 3.0 signals and down convert them to 1.0 so they 
can redistribute them to their subscribers. If MVPDs were required to 
receive and redistribute the 3.0 signals (without down conversion) to 
subscribers, then MVPDs would also face burdens on system capacity. 
Thus, allowing a broadcaster to demand mandatory carriage of its 3.0 
signal instead of its 1.0 signal would impose significantly greater 
costs and burdens on MVPDs. We find that it would not be reasonable to 
interpret the Act in a manner that would compel MVPDs to incur these 
added costs.
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    \84\ As discussed above, we require Next Gen TV stations to 
simulcast, except for LPTV stations and TV translator stations. 47 
U.S.C. 534(h)(2)(D) requires LPTV stations to deliver a ``good 
quality'' over-the-air signal to the cable headend, which the LPTV 
station cannot cure through alternate means. We interpret a ``good 
quality'' to not include a 3.0 signal at the present time given the 
lack of receive equipment and the MVPD costs to receive it. Thus, a 
3.0-only LPTV station could not qualify for mandatory carriage.
    \85\ 47 U.S.C. 534(b)(4)(B) requires the Commission ``to ensure 
cable carriage of such broadcast signals of local commercial 
television stations which have been changed . . . .'' However, until 
there is widespread adoption of 3.0 technology by OTA viewers, 
mandatory carriage of 3.0 signals would not serve the goals of 
promoting OTA broadcasting. In addition, MVPDs currently are not 
capable of receiving and retransmitting the 3.0 signal and will 
incur significant costs to obtain such capabilities when 3.0 
technology does become available.
    \86\ In Turner II, a majority of the Supreme Court recognized 
that the must-carry provisions serve the important and interrelated 
governmental interests of: (1) `` `preserving the benefits of free, 
over-the-air broadcast television,' '' and (2) promoting `` `the 
widespread dissemination of information from a multiplicity of 
sources.' ''
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    64. Although the Commission did recognize mandatory carriage rights 
for digital-only stations during the DTV transition, that transition 
was mandated by statute. By contrast, the decision to broadcast a 3.0 
signal is strictly voluntary, and it remains uncertain if all 
broadcasters will ultimately choose to provide 3.0 service. We disagree 
with ONE Media that we should accord mandatory carriage rights to a 
3.0-only station if that station could not find a viable simulcast 
partner. Even in circumstances where a station is unable to find a 1.0 
simulcast partner, deployment of 3.0 service is a voluntary choice on 
the part of the broadcaster and 3.0 carriage would require MVPDs to 
incur the significant costs and burdens described above. Given that 3.0 
deployment is intended to be voluntary for all stakeholders, we find 
that a broadcaster's decision to operate only in ATSC 3.0 must not 
require MVPDs to incur costs associated with receiving and processing 
the 3.0 signals before the MVPD is ready and willing to do so.
    65. In support of its argument that 3.0-only stations should be 
entitled to mandatory carriage rights, ONE Media also contends that 
``ATSC 3.0 decoders will be readily available by the time stations 
initiate 3.0 broadcasts.'' \87\ Even assuming this is true, carriage of 
an ATSC 3.0 signal would still require the MVPDs to buy such 3.0 
decoders. Although some MVPDs may choose to purchase 3.0 decoders if it 
becomes a more effective and/or less costly way to redistribute must-
carry signals to their subscribers, we find that MVPDs must not be 
required to do so as a result of the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0. 
We also disagree with NAB that a 3.0-only station could ``retain the 
same carriage rights it would have at its location if it were 
transmitting using ATSC 1.0, but must arrange for the delivery of its 
signal to any MVPDs required to carry the station's signal in a format 
the MVPD is capable of receiving.'' We agree with ATVA that 
broadcasters cannot secure mandatory carriage rights ``by promising to 
deliver signals `in a format the MVPD is capable of receiving.' '' As 
explained by ATVA, ``[b]roadcasters can, of course, deliver signals for 
which they have must carry rights using alternative means. But if a 
broadcaster transmits only in ATSC 3.0, there is no off-air signal for 
which the broadcaster has must-carry rights. How a broadcaster chooses 
to deliver that signal has no legal relevance.''
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    \87\ The Independent Television Group (ITG) also expresses 
concern that not providing stations with ATSC 3.0 must-carry rights 
``will frustrate and delay adoption [of ATSC 3.0] in small and 
medium markets.'' ITG, thus, suggests that the Commission ``defer a 
decision on carriage rights'' until after consumer equipment becomes 
available rather than for the duration of the mandatory local 
simulcasting period. As explained herein, we find that a 
broadcaster's decision to operate in ATSC 3.0 must not require MVPDs 
to incur costs associated with receiving and processing the 3.0 
signals before the MVPD is ready and willing to do so.
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b. Rights of Relocated 1.0 Simulcast Channel
    66. Having established that mandatory carriage rights will attach 
only to an ATSC 1.0 signal, we now turn to the issue of whether, and, 
if so, to what extent, 1.0 mandatory carriage rights move to the 
temporary host location, if the broadcaster opts to relocate its 1.0 
simulcast channel to a host's facility.\88\ We find that, to assert 1.0 
mandatory carriage rights, the 1.0 channel must continue to qualify for 
such rights at the temporary location from which it will transmit the 
1.0 signal; however, we interpret the statute to not allow such a 
temporary move to provide the station with new or expanded carriage 
rights not previously held and exercised by the 1.0 station. Our 
conclusion here interprets the must-carry statute to minimize the 
burdens on MVPDs to only those necessary to advance the interests of 
the must-carry regime. Allowing expansion of 1.0 mandatory carriage 
rights through local simulcasting also would be inconsistent with the 
purpose of our local simulcasting requirement, which is to maintain 1.0 
service to existing viewers.\89\
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    \88\ In the Next Gen TV NPRM, based on the proposed approach in 
the Channel Sharing Outside Auction Context NPRM, the Commission 
proposed that a broadcaster's mandatory carriage rights would track 
its relocated ATSC 1.0 simulcast channel. Under the approach we 
adopt here (i.e., declining to require carriage of 3.0 signal)), a 
Next Gen TV broadcaster's mandatory carriage rights will not change 
as a result of the Next Gen TV deployment if the 1.0 simulcast 
channel remains at the Next Gen TV broadcaster's existing facility 
(assuming no changes to the existing facility).
    \89\ Our conclusion is also consistent with the Commission's 
recent order authorizing channel sharing outside the auction 
context.
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    67. A Next Gen TV broadcaster's 1.0 mandatory carriage rights will 
be determined based on the location from which the 1.0 signal is being 
transmitted.\90\ We recognize that, in

[[Page 5011]]

certain situations, stations may no longer qualify for mandatory 
carriage rights at a temporary host location; however, we find that it 
would be inconsistent with the must-carry statute and unduly burdensome 
for MVPDs to require them to carry a 1.0 signal based on carriage 
rights at a different location from that which the signal is being 
broadcast. Because full-power commercial stations must remain within 
their DMA \91\ and must retain and continue to serve their current 
communities of license with their 1.0 simulcast channel, their carriage 
rights are unlikely to change.\92\ By contrast, the 1.0 cable carriage 
rights of NCE, Class A and LPTV stations may be affected in certain 
situations. For example, an NCE station that qualifies for carriage 
based on its contour encompassing the cable headend cannot continue to 
qualify for carriage rights at the temporary host location if the shift 
in contour means the station can no longer cover the cable headend.\93\ 
Similarly, Class A and LPTV stations may no longer qualify for cable 
carriage at the temporary location if the change in transmitter 
location means the station will be located more than 35 miles from the 
cable system's headend, or if the shift in coverage area means the 
station can no longer deliver a good quality 1.0 signal to the cable 
headend.
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    \90\ Full-power commercial stations generally are entitled to 
mandatory carriage throughout their local market area, so a shift in 
coverage area, community of license, or transmitter of a full-power 
commercial station is unlikely to change which cable systems must 
carry the station, provided there is no change in DMA and the 
station agrees to bear the costs to deliver a good quality signal to 
the cable operator. Noncommercial educational (NCE) stations' cable 
carriage rights are determined based on whether the relevant cable 
headend is located within 50 miles of the station's community of 
license or if the headend is located within the station's noise 
limited service contour (NLSC). NCE station's satellite carriage 
rights, however, are based on their local market area. Cable 
carriage rights of a Class A and LPTV station depend on, among other 
things, if (i) it is not located in the same county or other 
political subdivision (of a State) as a full-power station; (ii) its 
transmitter is within 35 miles of the cable system's principal 
headend; and (iii) it delivers a good quality signal to that headend 
(although, unlike NCE and full power commercial stations, it will 
have no right to improve the quality of its signal to meet the 
signal quality threshold). Class A and LPTV stations do not have 
satellite carriage rights. Therefore, a change in coverage area, 
community of license, or transmitter location could affect which 
cable systems must carry an NCE, Class A or LPTV station.
    \91\ We agree with ATVA that 1.0 simulcast channels must remain 
within their same DMA to avoid complications with carriage rights. 
Consistent with the channel sharing context, we find that 
disallowing DMA changes would minimize the potential impact of local 
simulcasting on MVPDs because carriage rights on a particular MVPD 
system generally depend on the station's DMA. ``Because satellite 
and cable carriage rights on a particular MVPD system generally 
depend on the station's DMA, prohibiting moves that would result in 
a change of DMA will minimize the potential impact of channel 
sharing on MVPDs.'' We also agree with ATVA that ``[p]ermitting an 
ATSC 1.0 signal to move to a different local market could trigger 
additional copyright royalties as well''.
    \92\ We note that a full-power commercial station's priority for 
cable carriage with respect to other in-market stations affiliated 
with the same network may be affected if we allow the station to 
change its 1.0 channel's community of license via a waiver. Based on 
existing carriage rules, in the event the 1.0 simulcast channel does 
not reach the cable headend or satellite local receive facility, the 
Next Gen TV broadcaster must deliver a good quality 1.0 signal to 
the MVPD either over-the-air or by alternate means, or must agree to 
bear the costs associated with the delivery of such good quality 1.0 
signal to the MVPD.
    \93\ In addition, we note that an NCE station that qualifies for 
mandatory carriage because the relevant cable headend is located 
within 50 miles of its community of license cannot continue to 
qualify for mandatory carriage at the temporary host location if the 
station is allowed to change its community of license via a waiver 
to outside of the 50 miles from the headend.
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    68. We disagree with Petitioners and other broadcasters that, in 
1.0 channel relocation situations, 1.0 mandatory carriage rights could 
and should remain unchanged and be determined based on the original 
facility. Petitioners argue that, under a licensed simulcast approach, 
which we adopt above, because both the 1.0 and 3.0 signal will be under 
the same license, the broadcaster can designate its 1.0 channel as its 
``primary video stream'' entitled to mandatory carriage rights, even if 
that signal is relocated to a new location. This argument does not 
recognize that the 1.0 and 3.0 signals are each a distinct signal 
transmitted on separate channels and are not two programming streams 
transmitted together on the same channel.\94\ Although the 1.0 signal 
is a separately authorized channel under the originating station's 
license, it is not on, or otherwise considered part of, the same 
channel as the originating station's 3.0 signal.
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    \94\ We note that the reference to a broadcaster's ``primary 
video stream'' in the DTV context relates to the question of whether 
multicast streams should be entitled to mandatory carriage and not 
the question of whether the analog and digital signal should be 
carried (dual carriage) during the DTV transition. As discussed 
above, we are not treating a 1.0 simulcast signal as a multicast 
stream, but rather as a second companion channel of the Next Gen TV 
licensee, based on the DTV transition context.
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    69. To minimize carriage burdens on MVPDs that could result from a 
1.0 station's temporary move, we also interpret the statute to not 
allow a station's temporary move to a 1.0 host facility to provide the 
station with new or expanded mandatory carriage rights. Allowing a 1.0 
simulcast channel to gain new or expanded mandatory carriage rights due 
to the temporary and voluntary relocation of the 1.0 signal to a host 
station's facility could pose significant burdens on MVPDs that would 
not advance the interests of the must-carry regime nor the purpose of 
local simulcasting. In the channel sharing context, the Commission 
determined that carriage rights would be based on the shared location 
and observed that certain stations may gain carriage on some cable 
systems, but lose carriage on others, as a result of the movements of 
their facilities or the changes in their communities of license. Unlike 
the channel sharing context, Next Gen TV broadcasters are not 
relinquishing the station at their original channel, but rather will 
continue to operate on it and will ultimately return to it when the 
local simulcasting requirement ends. Moreover, broadcasters may need to 
relocate 1.0 simulcast channels multiple times while local simulcasting 
is required, thus further burdening MVPDs if carriage rights could 
expand at every move. Finally, any expansion of 1.0 service due to such 
relocations will be temporary and will not serve to maintain existing 
1.0 service or to preserve over-the-air broadcast viewership. 
Therefore, we find that a guest licensee's 1.0 simulcast channel moved 
to a temporary host facility may assert mandatory carriage rights only 
if it (1) qualified for, and has been exercising, mandatory carriage 
rights at its original location and (2) continues to qualify for 
mandatory carriage at the host facility, including (but not limited to) 
delivering a good quality 1.0 signal to the cable system principal 
headend or satellite carrier local receive facility, or agreeing to be 
responsible for the costs of delivering such 1.0 signal to the 
MVPD.\95\
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    \95\ Under our existing must-carry rules, broadcasters are 
required to bear the costs of delivering a good quality signal to 
MVPDs. The rules, however, do not apply to the costs on MVPDs of 
receiving and redistributing the signal to their subscribers and so 
MVPDs generally assume these costs. Such costs are generally viewed 
as the costs of doing business as MVPDs. MVPDs, however, ask us to 
require Next Gen TV broadcasters to reimburse MVPDs for the costs 
associated with the reception and processing of 1.0 simulcasts. We 
decline to do so. We agree with PTV that receiving and 
redistributing broadcast signals are ``a basic cost of doing 
business for an MVPD.'' We recognize that we reimbursed such costs 
to MVPDs in the incentive auction context. The reimbursement of 
MVPDs in connection with the incentive auction was mandated by 
statute. 47 U.S.C. 1452(b)(4)(A)(ii). The costs incurred due to 
local simulcasting will occur on a market-driven basis and are 
properly borne by the MVPDs.
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    70. Market Modification. The relocation of a 1.0 simulcast channel 
to a temporary host facility (even though it would remain within the 
station's DMA) raises the possibility that the station may be able to 
reach new communities outside of its DMA. We are unlikely to rule 
favorably on a request by a full power commercial station that 
relocates

[[Page 5012]]

its 1.0 simulcast channel to modify its market \96\ to add new 
communities outside of its DMA based on a temporary shift in its 1.0 
service contour.\97\ This approach is consistent with our conclusion 
above that stations will not be able to expand the mandatory carriage 
rights of an ATSC 1.0 signal by relocating to a temporary 1.0 host 
facility. As discussed above, any expansion of 1.0 service due to such 
relocations will be temporary and will not serve to maintain existing 
1.0 service or to preserve over-the-air broadcast viewership.\98\ In 
addition, because 1.0 service relocations will be temporary, we will 
disfavor a request by a cable system or satellite carrier to modify a 
1.0 simulcast station's market to delete communities based on the 
temporary shift in the 1.0 station's service contour.
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    \96\ Market modification is a process established by statute 
that allows the Commission to modify the boundaries of a particular 
full power commercial station's local television market assignment 
for cable or satellite carriage purposes. Each full power commercial 
television station is assigned to a local market defined by the 
Designated Market Area (DMA) in which it is located, as determined 
by the Nielsen Company (Nielsen). Sections 338(l) and 614(h)(1)(C) 
of the Communications Act permit the Commission, in response to a 
written request to add communities to, or delete communities from, a 
station's local market to better reflect marketplace conditions. 47 
U.S.C. 338(l)(1), 534(h)(1)(C). The Commission determines whether to 
grant a market modification based on consideration of five statutory 
factors that allow petitioners to demonstrate that a particular 
station provides or does not provide local service to a specific 
community. Full power commercial television stations and cable 
systems may file cable market modification petitions and full power 
commercial television stations, satellite carriers, and county 
governments may file satellite market modification petitions. We 
note that market modifications are not available to NCE, Class A or 
LPTV stations.
    \97\ We note that the scope of a station's signal is only one 
aspect of our analysis under factor two, which is one of five 
statutory factors which the Commission must consider in deciding 
whether to grant or deny a market modification request. Whether a 
full power commercial station loses its ability to exercise its 
carriage rights in particular communities depends on whether a 
market modification is sought and the application of these statutory 
factors and other relevant considerations. In this context, the 
temporary nature of local simulcasting and the availability of a 3.0 
signal in the community at issue are appropriate additional 
considerations for evaluating a station's local connection to the 
community.
    \98\ In other words, we conclude that any increase in mandatory 
carriage obligations on MVPDs would not be warranted to advance the 
interests of the must-carry regime or local simulcasting. Local 
simulcasting is intended to preserve 1.0 viewership, not permanently 
expand such viewership.
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2. Notice to MVPDs About Relocation of 1.0 Simulcast Channel
    71. We require all Next Gen TV broadcasters relocating their 1.0 
simulcast channel (e.g., moving to a temporary host facility, 
subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to its original 
facility) to provide notice to those MVPDs that: (1) No longer will be 
required to carry the station's 1.0 signal due to the relocation; or 
(2) currently carry the station's 1.0 signal from the existing location 
and will continue to be obligated to carry the station's 1.0 signal 
from the new location.\99\ The Next Gen TV NPRM sought comment on what 
appropriate notice to MVPDs would be, noting that the Petition proposed 
that must-carry broadcasters should give notice to MVPDs at least 60 
days in advance of relocating their 1.0 simulcast channel to a 
temporary host facility. As suggested by AT&T, we require all 
broadcasters to give notice to MVPDs: (1) At least 120 days in advance 
of relocating their 1.0 simulcast channel to a temporary host facility 
if the relocation occurs during the post-incentive auction transition 
period; \100\ and (2) at least 90 days in advance of relocating their 
1.0 simulcast channel to a temporary host facility if the relocation 
occurs after the post-incentive auction transition period. The 90-day 
notice requirement is consistent with the rules adopted by the 
Commission in the channel sharing context, and we are persuaded by AT&T 
and other MVPDs that additional time is needed during the 39-month 
repacking period because of the added complications and burdens during 
that period.\101\ If the anticipated date of the 1.0 service relocation 
changes, the station must send a further notice to affected MVPDs 
informing them of the new anticipated date for 1.0 service relocation.
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    \99\ Our rules here are similar to those adopted by the 
Commission in the channel sharing context outside of the incentive 
auction. In this regard, as the notice provision in the channel 
sharing context applies to all broadcasters, we agree with ATVA that 
this notice requirement for local simulcasting must apply to all 
broadcasters. We also agree with ATVA that a ``single set of rules 
for all broadcasters would promote efficiency and prevent consumer 
disruption.''
    \100\ The Commission has determined that the 39-month Post-
Auction Transition Period will end on July 13, 2020.
    \101\ We are not persuaded by NCTA that six months' advance 
notice is generally warranted, but we will consider waivers 
requesting additional time if good cause is shown. We note that ONE 
Media disagreed with any advance notice requirement, but their 
position was premised on mandatory carriage rights remaining at the 
original facility, which we decided will not occur in 1.0 relocation 
situations.
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    72. Consistent with the channel sharing context and AT&T's 
proposal, the notice must contain the following information: (1) Date 
and time of the 1.0 channel change; (2) the 1.0 channel occupied by the 
station before and after commencement of local simulcasting; (3) 
modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power levels; 
(4) stream identification information, including program numbers for 
each programming stream; and (5) engineering staff contact information. 
If any of this information changes, an amended notification must be 
sent. Stations may choose whether to provide notice via a letter 
notification \102\ or electronically via email, if pre-arranged with 
the relevant MVPD.
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    \102\ Letter notifications to MVPDs must be sent by certified 
mail, return receipt requested to the MVPD's address in the FCC's 
Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), if the MVPD has an online 
file. For cable systems that do not have an online file, notices 
must be sent to the cable system's official address of record 
provided in the system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable 
Operations and Licensing System (COALS). For MVPDs with no official 
address in OPIF or COALS, the letter must be sent to the MVPD's 
official corporate address registered with their State of 
incorporation.
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3. Retransmission Consent Issues
    73. Beyond the notice requirement mentioned above, we do not adopt 
any rules related to voluntary carriage of 3.0 signals through 
retransmission consent at this time. The Next Gen TV NPRM sought 
comment on issues related to the voluntary carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals 
through the retransmission consent process. MVPD commenters express the 
concern that Next Gen TV broadcasters could use the retransmission 
consent process to compel carriage of 3.0 signals before consumer 
demand and market circumstances warrant. To address those concerns, 
they request that we require parties to (1) negotiate for carriage of 
3.0 signals separately from carriage of 1.0 signals, (2) nullify 
existing contractual clauses that would require MVPDs to carry 3.0 
signals, and (3) in the event of a good faith complaint, subpoena 
negotiation-related documents under a protective order to overcome any 
non-disclosure provisions.\103\ NTCA requests that we prohibit carriage 
of ATSC 3.0 signals via retransmission consent. Broadcasters, on the 
other hand, urge us to allow the marketplace to resolve voluntary 
carriage issues without adopting any new retransmission consent rules.
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    \103\ Although commenters argue that we have the legal authority 
to adopt retransmission consent rules related to carriage, no 
commenter argues that the statute compels us to adopt such rules.
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    74. We conclude that it is premature to address any issues that may 
arise with respect to the voluntary carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals before 
broadcasters begin transmitting in this new voluntary standard.\104\ 
Therefore, we decline to

[[Page 5013]]

adopt any new rules regarding retransmission consent in this proceeding 
and will allow these issues at the outset to be addressed through 
marketplace negotiations. We make clear, however, that MVPDs are under 
no statutory or regulatory obligation to carry any 3.0 signals and 
remind parties of the statutory requirement that they negotiate in good 
faith.
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    \104\ ACA requests that the Commission ``clarify that cable 
operators and broadcasters can lawfully agree in retransmission 
consent agreements to the downconversion of ATSC 3.0 signals, 
notwithstanding the `material degradation' provisions in the 
Communications Act.'' Letter from Ross J. Lieberman, American Cable 
Ass'n, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, GN Docket No. 16-142 et 
al., at 1 (filed Nov. 9, 2017). See 47 U.S.C. 534(b)(4)(A), 
535(g)(2). As we state above, 3.0 signals do not have must-carry 
rights, and an MVPD's decision as to whether or not to carry an ATSC 
3.0 signal via retransmission consent can be resolved through 
marketplace negotiations.
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E. FCC Public Interest Obligations and Other FCC Rules

    75. In this section, we address several additional topics related 
to the voluntary deployment of Next Gen TV. First, we explain that Next 
Gen TV broadcasters are subject to our broadcast rules. Second, we 
decline to adopt a requirement that television broadcast receivers 
include ATSC 3.0-compatible receivers. Third, we require broadcasters 
to notify the public about their deployment of Next Gen TV service. 
Fourth, we decline to change the fees that we charge broadcasters that 
offer ancillary services at this time.\105\ And finally, we reiterate 
that the Commission will not use the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund to 
reimburse costs associated with ATSC 3.0 capability.
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    \105\ We note that three commenters expressed concern about 
today's action implicating consumer privacy, but none offered any 
evidence or substantiation to support their speculative assertions 
about such harm or any alternatives to address the alleged harm. In 
the absence of such evidence, we decline to alter today's action to 
address their conclusory assertions.
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1. Applicability of Public Interest Obligations and Other Broadcast 
Rules to Next Gen TV
    76. We require Next Gen TV broadcasters to comply with all of our 
broadcast rules, including, but not limited to, our rules regarding 
foreign ownership, political broadcasting, children's programming, 
equal employment opportunities, public inspection file, indecency, 
sponsorship identification, contests, the CALM Act, the Emergency Alert 
System (EAS), and accessibility for people with disabilities. As 
television stations engaged in ``broadcasting'' under the Act, Next Gen 
TV stations will be public trustees with a responsibility to serve the 
``public interest, convenience, and necessity.'' In the Petition, 
Petitioners suggest that broadcasters implementing ATSC 3.0 should 
remain subject to all relevant Commission rules, and commenters 
overwhelmingly support applying the same public interest obligations 
that apply to broadcasters transmitting under the current ATSC 1.0 
standard to those transmitting using the ATSC 3.0 standard. We agree 
and conclude that all of our broadcast rules that currently apply when 
a broadcaster is providing a free, over-the-air video stream broadcast 
in ATSC 1.0 will apply equally when it is providing a free, over-the-
air video stream broadcast in ATSC 3.0.\106\
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    \106\ We note that the public interest obligations and other 
broadcast rules will apply to all ATSC 3.0 video programming 
streams, except that Next Gen TV broadcasters will be required to 
use A/322 only with respect to the primary video programming stream. 
Given that the local simulcasting requirement adopted herein is 
temporary, we will not apply the broadcast ownership rules in any 
situation where airing an ATSC 3.0 signal or an ATSC 1.0 simulcast 
on a temporary host station's facility would result in a potential 
violation of those rules.
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    77. With respect to accessibility of Next Gen TV programming, we 
emphasize that broadcasters that choose to deploy ATSC 3.0 are expected 
to comply fully with all relevant Part 79 requirements. Among other 
requirements, these rules require television broadcasters to ensure 
that all new, nonexempt English language and Spanish language 
programming distributed on their channels is closed captioned; that 
closed captioning contained in all programming received from video 
programming providers is passed through; and that local emergency 
information is accessible to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing 
and to persons who are blind or have visual disabilities. These rules 
also require local TV station affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC 
located in the top 60 TV markets to provide a specified number of hours 
per calendar quarter of video-described prime time and/or children's 
programming.\107\ In addition, Next Gen TV receivers and other 
equipment with ATSC 3.0 tuners must comply with all applicable Part 79 
rules, including closed captioning decoder requirements, video 
description and emergency information accessibility requirements, and 
requirements for user interfaces, programming guides, and menus.\108\
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    \107\ Currently, commercial television broadcast stations that 
are affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC and located in the top 60 
TV markets must provide 50 hours of video description per calendar 
quarter during prime time or children's programming. Beginning July 
1, 2018, covered stations must also provide an additional 37.5 hours 
of video description per calendar quarter between 6 a.m. and 
midnight.
    \108\ NAB asserts that the ATSC 3.0 standard includes the 
accessibility tools necessary to comply with the Commission's rules 
and that Next Gen TV devices will fully meet their accessibility 
obligations.
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    78. As the Consumer Groups recommend, we clarify that MVPDs that 
agree to carry ATSC 3.0 signals must comply with 47 CFR 79.1(c), which 
spells out the requirements for video programming distributors to pass 
through and maintain the quality of closed captions. We also clarify 
that the use of image overlays or rasterized textual content will not 
relieve Next Gen TV broadcasters of their obligation to provide textual 
closed captions in accordance with Part 79 of the Commission's rules.
2. Next Gen TV Tuner Mandate
    79. We revise our rules to make clear that there is no Next Gen TV 
tuner mandate. TV receivers capable of receiving ATSC 3.0 signals are 
not yet available in the U.S. Without revising our existing rules, 
television receivers would be required to include ATSC 3.0 tuners when 
broadcasters begin transmitting ATSC 3.0 signals. Specifically, 47 CFR 
15.117(b), the rule implementing the Commission's authority under the 
1962 All Channel Receiver Act (ACRA), provides that ``TV broadcast 
receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving all channels 
allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service.'' 
Section 303(s) of the Act, as codified by ACRA, grants the Commission 
``from time to time, as public convenience, interest, or necessity 
requires'' the ``authority to require that apparatus designed to 
receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be 
capable of adequately receiving all frequencies allocated by the 
Commission to television broadcasting.'' This provision leaves it to 
the Commission's discretion when to require that television receivers 
be capable of receiving all television broadcast frequencies. We 
conclude that a tuner mandate is unnecessary at this time given that 
the deployment of ATSC 3.0 will be voluntary and market-driven and that 
broadcasters will continue to transmit ATSC 1.0 signals indefinitely. 
We agree with commenters that consumer demand will drive the inclusion 
of ATSC 3.0 tuners in television receivers. Accordingly, we are 
revising 47 CFR 15.117(b) to make clear that this rule does not apply 
to ATSC 3.0.
    80. We are not persuaded by ATBA's argument that a Next Gen TV 
tuner mandate for all television receivers, as well as smartphones and 
other mobile devices designed to receive and display television 
signals, is critical to the preservation of LPTV service. ATBA asserts 
that repacking following the incentive auction will displace thousands 
of LPTV stations and the

[[Page 5014]]

more flexible characteristics of Next Gen TV may allow displaced LPTV 
stations to find spectrum in places where a displacement channel would 
otherwise be impossible. ATBA further asserts that LPTV stations may 
wish to be early adopters of Next Gen TV to distinguish their service 
and ensuring that Next Gen TV tuners are in all receive devices will 
enhance the service that LPTV stations can provide to the public. 
Although we are exempting LPTV stations from the local simulcasting 
requirement and allowing them to transition directly to ATSC 3.0 
service, we do not believe that a Next Gen TV tuner mandate is 
necessary to ensure the survival of the LPTV service. As discussed 
above, we expect that once broadcasters begin transmitting in ATSC 3.0, 
consumer demand for the advanced features of Next Gen TV will propel 
the manufacture and distribution of TV receivers with ATSC 3.0 tuners. 
We also agree with commenters that the incorporation of ATSC 3.0 tuners 
into smartphones and other mobile devices should be driven by consumer 
demand.
    81. We agree with commenters that it is unnecessary to require that 
all TV receivers sold after a specified date have an HDMI port to 
permit attachment of a converter device, such as an external tuner 
dongle, set-top box, or gateway device, that would enable the receivers 
to be easily upgradeable to receive ATSC 3.0 transmissions. The Public 
Interest Groups observe that in the past three years in which Consumer 
Reports has been testing new televisions, all of the tested devices 
contained at least one HDMI port. The Public Interest Groups assert 
that a consumer would be hard-pressed to purchase a new television 
today or in the future that did not have an HDMI port. Moreover, NAB 
suggests that an HDMI port requirement could be counterproductive and 
harmful to consumers, locking manufacturers into an unnecessary cost 
associated with a specific technology regardless of marketplace 
developments.
3. On-Air Notice to Consumers About Deployment of ATSC 3.0 Service and 
ATSC 1.0 Simulcasting
    82. As discussed below, we are adopting consumer education 
requirements modeled on the consumer education requirements adopted in 
connection with the incentive auction for broadcasters that will 
transition to new channels post-auction. Consumer education will be 
crucial to the successful deployment of Next Gen TV service and 
simulcasting of ATSC 1.0 service. Consumers will need to be informed if 
stations they view will be changing channels and encouraged to rescan 
their receivers for new channel assignments. Although we agree that 
broadcasters will be motivated to inform viewers of the availability 
and features of Next Gen TV and how to continue to receive their ATSC 
1.0 signals during simulcasting, we conclude that consumer education 
requirements are needed to ensure that broadcasters provide adequate 
notice to viewers and to minimize any potential disruption to viewers.
    83. All stations that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals (e.g., moving 
to a host station's facility, subsequently moving to a different host, 
or returning to its original facility) must air daily on-air consumer 
education PSAs or crawls,\109\ beginning 30 days prior to the date that 
the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 operations on their existing 
facilities. Stations will have the option of choosing between PSAs and 
crawls or may air a mix of PSAs and crawls. Stations will also have the 
discretion to choose the timeslots in which their PSAs or crawls will 
air. Crawls must be provided in the same language as a majority of the 
programming carried by the station.\110\ Although we are not mandating 
specific language, crawls must provide all pertinent information to 
consumers.
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    \109\ A ``crawl'' is ``text that advances very slowly across the 
bottom or top of the screen.'' Stations may use alternative forms of 
crawls, including a text ``flipper,'' which is a message on the 
screen that flips to a new line of text instead of crawling across 
the screen.
    \110\ The crawls should not block any closed captioning or 
emergency information.
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    84. We conclude that this will ensure that viewers are apprised of 
the potential impact of the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 service on 
them. PSAs must also be provided in the same language as a majority of 
the programming carried by the station, provide all pertinent 
information to consumers, and be closed captioned.\111\
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    \111\ We recognize that our rules exempt PSAs that are shorter 
than 10 minutes in duration from the captioning requirements. Given 
the importance of the information to be included in these PSAs, 
however, we expressly require that these PSAs be closed captioned 
regardless of their duration.
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    85. We will also require LPTV stations and any other stations that 
transition directly to ATSC 3.0 to provide on-air notifications to 
ensure that viewers are aware that they will no longer be able to 
receive the signals of these stations in ATSC 1.0 and that they may 
need to obtain new equipment to receive the ATSC 3.0 transmissions of 
these stations. Stations that transition directly to ATSC 3.0 must 
provide on-air notifications beginning 30 days prior to the date that 
they terminate their ATSC 1.0 operations. Such crawls or PSAs must 
provide all pertinent information to consumers. To the extent that such 
equipment is available, we encourage stations to include in their on-
air notices and on their websites information about the availability of 
external tuner dongles and gateway devices that can be used to upgrade 
viewers' TV receivers to receive ATSC 3.0 transmissions. These stations 
must otherwise comply with the same on-air notification requirements 
set forth above for stations that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals.
    86. The Commission will support broadcasters' consumer education 
efforts by, among other things, responding to consumer questions 
regarding the deployment of Next Gen TV and ATSC 1.0 simulcasting and 
providing consumer assistance on rescanning TVs. In addition, the 
Commission will update its website (www.fcc.gov) to provide additional 
information and guidance to consumers on Next Gen TV.
4. Ancillary and Supplementary Services
    87. We decline to reexamine the fee that broadcasters must pay to 
offer ancillary and supplemental services at this time, as requested by 
several commenters. Broadcasters currently must remit an annual fee 
equal to five percent of the gross revenues derived from any ancillary 
or supplementary services for which viewers must pay a subscription 
fee, or for which the broadcaster directly or indirectly receives 
compensation from a third party in exchange for the transmission of 
material provided by the third party (other than commercial 
advertisements used to support broadcasting for which a fee is not 
required). Under Section 336 of the Act, the Commission is required to 
set the ancillary services fee so as to (1) recover for the public a 
portion of the value of the public spectrum made available for 
ancillary or supplemental use by broadcasters, (2) avoid unjust 
enrichment of broadcasters, and (3) recover for the public an amount 
that equals the amount that would have been recovered at auction. In 
addition, the Commission must adjust the ancillary services fee 
periodically to ensure that these requirements continue to be met. Some 
commenters suggest that a higher fee may be warranted to ensure 
compliance with the statutory directive, while others assert that the 
fee should be reduced to ensure that it does not thwart innovation by 
Next Gen TV broadcasters.
    88. We conclude that it would be premature at this time to adjust 
the fee associated with ancillary services. It is

[[Page 5015]]

not clear from the record which ATSC 3.0-based services and features 
will be ``ancillary services'' within the meaning of our rules or which 
such services will be feeable. Moreover, we note that compared to other 
revenue sources, ancillary services today remain an insignificant 
portion of total station revenue. Once Next Gen TV broadcasters have 
implemented ancillary and supplementary services, the Commission will 
be in a better position to assess whether adjustment of the ancillary 
services fee is warranted and may revisit this issue.
5. Interplay With Post-Incentive Auction Transition/Repack
    89. Authorizing the deployment of Next Gen TV on a voluntary basis 
concurrently with the post-incentive auction transition is likely to 
create efficiencies for repacked stations that want to upgrade to ATSC 
3.0. In particular, commenters point out that the incremental cost of 
adding Next Gen TV capability as part of a station's equipment 
reconfiguration or upgrade during the repack process will be 
significantly less than the cost of upgrading equipment twice, once for 
the repack and once for the deployment of ATSC 3.0 service. We 
reiterate that all requests for reimbursement from the TV Broadcaster 
Relocation Fund (Reimbursement Fund), including those for ATSC 3.0 
capable equipment, will be evaluated consistent with the standards set 
forth in the Incentive Auction Report and Order. In that order, the 
Commission recognized that replacement of equipment eligible for 
reimbursement from the Reimbursement Fund ``necessarily may include 
improved functionality,'' but stated ``[w]e do not . . . anticipate 
providing reimbursement for new, optional features in equipment unless 
the station or MVPD documents that the feature is already present in 
the equipment that is being replaced. Eligible stations and MVPDs may 
elect to purchase optional equipment capability or make other upgrades 
at their own cost, but only the cost of the equipment without optional 
upgrades is a reimbursable expense.'' Thus, for example, broadcasters 
will be allowed to seek reimbursement for equipment that facilitates 
ATSC 3.0 capability (such as higher transmitter power or horizontal/
elliptical antenna polarization), but any costs associated with the 
ATSC 3.0 capability will not be reimbursable (i.e., broadcasters will 
be responsible for the difference between the cost of the ATSC 3.0-
capable equipment and the equipment needed to broadcast using the ATSC 
1.0 standard).\112\ We will also monitor the filing of license 
applications filed by stations that seek to deploy ATSC 3.0 and the 
Media Bureau may seek information it deems necessary from broadcasters 
to ensure this voluntary transition does not negatively impact or delay 
the mandatory post-incentive auction transition.
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    \112\ NAB asserts that ``current generation equipment that will 
be deployed during repacking is, in many cases, already Next Gen 
compatible, or capable of being easily upgraded to be Next Gen-
compatible. To the extent there are any cost differences between 
equipment that is Next Gen-compatible and equipment that is not, NAB 
has stated that it is committed to assisting the FCC in ensuring 
that repacking funds are not directed to unwarranted or unnecessary 
upgrades.''
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F. Technical Issues

    90. In this section, we resolve technical issues that the 
authorization of ATSC 3.0 raises. First, we incorporate certain parts 
of the ATSC 3.0 standard by reference into our rules. Next, we adopt 
our proposal to calculate Next Gen TV interference to DTV signals using 
the methodology and planning factors specified OET-69. Finally, we 
conclude that broadcast television stations may operate ATSC 3.0 Single 
Frequency Networks pursuant to our current rules that authorize 
Distributed Transmission Systems.
1. Incorporation by Reference of Technical Standards
    91. We incorporate two parts of the ATSC 3.0 ``physical layer'' 
standard into our rules: (1) ATSC A/321:2016 ``System Discovery & 
Signaling'' (A/321), which is the standard used to communicate the RF 
signal type that the ATSC 3.0 signal will use, and (2) A/322:2017 
``Physical Layer Protocol'' (A/322), which is the standard that defines 
the waveforms that ATSC 3.0 signals may take. With respect to A/322, we 
apply the standard only to a Next Gen TV station's primary free over-
the-air video programming stream and incorporate it by reference into 
our rules for a period of five years from the date of publication in 
the Federal Register.\113\ We do not incorporate any other of the ATSC 
3.0 standards; broadcasters are authorized, but not required, to use 
any other elements of ATSC 3.0. The ATSC 3.0 standards are reasonably 
available because they are available on the ATSC website at: 
www.atsc.org/standards/atsc-3-0-standards/ and from ATSC at their 
office: 1776 K Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20006.
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    \113\ As we discuss below in paragraphs 100-101, this 
requirement will sunset at the end of the five-year period unless 
extended by the Commission via rulemaking.
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    92. The ATSC 3.0 suite of standards is split into multiple parts 
under a unifying parent standard. The ATSC 3.0 standards are structured 
into three layers: (1) The physical layer, (2) the management and 
protocols layer, and (3) the applications and presentation layer. Each 
of the standards fits into only one layer, making it possible to 
develop and update each part independently. The physical layer includes 
the definition of the radio frequency (RF) waveform used in ATSC 3.0, 
as well as the coding and error correction that determine the 
robustness of the signal to noise and interference. The management and 
protocols layer organizes data bits into streams and files and 
establishes the protocol for the receiver to direct those streams to 
the proper destinations. The applications and presentation layer 
includes audio and video compression technologies, captions and 
descriptive audio, emergency alerts, parental controls, and interactive 
applications. It also specifies how the station is displayed to 
viewers.
    93. A/321. We adopt our proposal to incorporate by reference and 
make mandatory for Next Gen TV broadcasting the ATSC A/321 standard. 
Commenters broadly support this action. As the entry point to the 
physical layer of the ATSC 3.0 standards, A/321 defines a brief robust 
``bootstrap'' signal followed by a window for data transmission that is 
periodic and contains information to help Next Gen TV receivers quickly 
locate and understand the RF formats of the data portions of the Next 
Gen TV signal. The bootstrap signal can indicate that the remainder of 
the signal is one of many different RF signal types.\114\ This gives 
the broadcast industry the ability to later define additional signal 
types while using a consistent bootstrap signal that can indicate to 
Next Gen TV receivers that they can ignore portions of the signal that 
are not compatible with that particular receiver. The bootstrap further 
serves to split the overall signal into segments that can follow 
different standards and/or use different robustness parameters. The 
bootstrap signal also includes data that can wake a receiver from 
standby mode to receive and display emergency information. By 
incorporating and making mandatory the A/321 standard, we ensure that 
the RF waveforms of the bootstrap portion of broadcasters' Next Gen TV 
signals will be fully defined.
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    \114\ At the time of this Order, only one such signal type is 
standardized and mentioned within the record, and it is described by 
ATSC A/322.
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    94. A/322. We also incorporate by reference the ATSC A/322 standard 
and require that broadcasters' primary free over-the-air Next Gen TV 
video

[[Page 5016]]

programming stream adhere to the standard, for a period of five years 
from the effective date of the rule incorporating this standard. In the 
Next Gen TV NPRM, we sought comment on whether to incorporate this 
component of the physical layer into our rules. Some commenters, 
including CTA, urge us to incorporate A/322 to provide certainty to 
television receiver manufacturers and consumers that their televisions 
will be able to receive Next Gen TV signals. They suggest that A/322 is 
necessary to complete the definition of the interference environment of 
Next Gen TV as well as to protect consumers and other stakeholders from 
purchasing equipment that is unable to receive over-the-air broadcasts. 
Some broadcasters, however, claim that if we require them to adhere to 
A/322, they will not be able to innovate and offer services other than 
fixed television broadcasting. In an effort to balance our goals of 
protecting consumers while promoting innovation, we conclude that 
requiring Next Gen TV broadcasters to adhere to A/322 for an 
appropriate transitional period, and only on their primary video 
programming stream, appropriately addresses the concerns raised in the 
record and will best serve the public interest.
    95. Requiring Next Gen TV broadcasters to broadcast their primary 
video programming stream in accordance with A/322 for a limited period 
will benefit consumers and other stakeholders. As LG explains, device 
manufacturers and MVPDs may not be able to reliably predict what signal 
modulation a broadcaster is using unless broadcasters are required to 
follow A/322. This uncertainty could cause manufacturers to 
inadvertently build equipment that cannot receive Next Gen TV 
broadcasts or could render MVPDs unable to receive and retransmit the 
signals of Next Gen TV stations. These outcomes would harm consumers. 
We note that although NAB was originally opposed to the Commission 
adopting A/322, more recently it has acknowledged that ``adopting the 
full physical layer of the Next Gen standard, including A/322'' may 
``ensure that consumer electronics manufacturers can build television 
receivers with confidence.'' One of the primary reasons we adopted the 
ATSC 1.0 standard for DTV was ``to ensure that all affected parties 
have sufficient confidence and certainty in order to promote the smooth 
introduction of a free and universally available digital broadcast 
television service.'' \115\ We similarly find here that adopting A/322, 
with the limitations set forth herein, is necessary to ensure adequate 
certainty with respect to the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0.
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    \115\ The issues we address here are similar to those faced in 
the Fourth DTV Report and Order. At that time, we based our decision 
to adopt and incorporate the ATSC 1.0 standard upon four goals: (1) 
To ensure that all affected parties have sufficient confidence and 
certainty in order to promote the smooth introduction of a free and 
universally available digital broadcast television service; (2) to 
increase the availability of new products and services to consumers 
through the introduction of digital broadcasting; (3) to ensure that 
our rules encourage technological innovation and competition; and 
(4) to minimize regulation and assure that any regulations we do 
adopt remain in effect no longer than necessary.
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    96. We are persuaded, however, that it is not appropriate at this 
time to require broadcasters to adhere to A/322 indefinitely. As the 
record indicates, the ATSC 3.0 standard could evolve, and stagnant 
Commission rules could prevent broadcasters from taking advantage of 
that evolution. NAB proposes, with respect to the one free over-the-air 
video programming stream that Next Gen TV broadcasters will be required 
to provide, ``that broadcasters rely on both components of the physical 
layer, that is, A/321 and A/322,'' and that the ``requirement to 
incorporate A/322 sunset automatically after a period of three years 
unless extended by the Commission following a rulemaking proceeding.'' 
We agree with the basic principle of NAB's proposal. In particular, we 
agree that the Commission ``. . . can provide the certainty the 
consumer electronics industry desires with the flexibility broadcasters 
seek while minimizing regulatory burdens'' by incorporating A/322 into 
our rules for a transitional period. After that transitional period, 
the requirement will sunset if it is not reinstated by the Commission 
via rulemaking before the end of the transitional period.\116\
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    \116\ We will also use this period to monitor how the 
marketplace handles patent royalties for essential patents, but we 
will not require reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) licensing 
at this time. With no evidence of patent licensing issues, we 
believe it is premature to impose regulations on the private 
licensing marketplace.
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    97. We conclude that five years, rather than three years, is the 
appropriate amount of time to require broadcasters to use the A/322 
standard for their primary video programming stream. Three years, as 
proposed by NAB, would sunset the requirement within (or only shortly 
after) the incentive auction repacking period and likely before many 
stations have had a reasonable opportunity to implement Next Gen TV 
broadcasting. We find that a time and scope-limited adoption of A/322 
strikes an appropriate balance of all interests reflected in the 
record. Our approach will let broadcasters develop new ancillary 
services outside the boundaries of A/322. It will also establish a 
period of certainty for manufacturers, MVPDs, and consumers that will 
prevent broadcasting standards from splintering and will speed the 
overall adoption of ATSC 3.0. Requiring Next Gen TV broadcasters to use 
A/322 only with respect to the primary video programming stream leaves 
significant ability for broadcasters to innovate with regard to 
ancillary services. Thus, we conclude that the requirement that 
broadcasters adhere to the A/322 standard requirement will sunset five 
years from its effective date (i.e., the date it is published in the 
Federal Register), unless the Commission extends the requirement via 
rulemaking.
    98. We find that the benefits of requiring broadcasters' primary 
video programming stream to adhere to A/322 outweigh the burdens, 
particularly because A/322 gives broadcasters many choices. As 
commenters explain, the A/322 standard enables a significant amount of 
broadcaster flexibility, allowing broadcasters to choose from tens of 
thousands of different robustness operating points. The parameters that 
determine these operating points allow broadcasters to customize the 
payload, interference susceptibility, and mobile performance of their 
primary video signal, and allow broadcasters to design their signals to 
support a range that extends all the way from very robust mobile video 
to very high quality Ultra-High Definition and High Dynamic Range 
video. In addition, we are not adopting at this time any of the other 
ATSC 3.0 standards, so broadcasters that choose to deploy Next Gen TV 
service will have considerable flexibility to innovate.
    99. We disagree with suggestions, however, that incorporating A/322 
into our rules is necessary to make interference calculations more 
certain and predictable. LG and others assert that A/321 defines only a 
small portion of the ATSC 3.0 RF waveform, but an engineering study 
performed by MSW showed that the A/322 waveform is sufficiently noise-
like to be considered in the interference environment in the same the 
way the DTV waveform is. So we expect that any coded orthogonal 
frequency-division multiplexing signal likely to be used by 
broadcasters,\117\ as accommodated by the A/321 bootstrap signal, will 
be noise-like. We agree with

[[Page 5017]]

NAB's suggestion that ``. . . the Commission should seek to minimize 
regulatory burdens by requiring only that any digital transmissions are 
randomized and noise like and do not cause harmful interference by 
staying within the constraints of Section 73.622(h) of the Commission's 
rules.'' Therefore, ATSC 3.0 signals are prohibited from causing 
harmful interference under 47 CFR 73.622(h) regardless of whether we 
require broadcasters to adhere to A/322.
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    \117\ Coded orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, or 
COFDM, is the scheme used to modulate ATSC 3.0 signals. It replaces 
the 8-VSB modulation scheme upon which the ATSC 1.0 standard relies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    100. Although ONE Media argues that requiring broadcasters to 
adhere to A/322 will limit the mobile reception performance of the ATSC 
3.0 standard, the record suggests that this concern is overstated. LG 
performed mobile reception tests pursuant to an ATSC 3.0 experimental 
license, and the report resulting from those tests indicates that the 
ATSC 3.0 standard, including A/322, allows for ``[h]ighly reliable in-
vehicle mobile reception.'' Although the Commission has limited data to 
rely on at this time, it appears that the performance of the ATSC 3.0 
standard will allow broadcasters to confidently implement mobile 
services, even while they adhere to A/322. Moreover, because we require 
broadcasters to adhere to A/322 only with respect to the primary video 
programming stream that the Next Gen TV broadcaster transmits, 
broadcasters will be able to innovate outside the bounds of A/322 with 
the rest of the spectrum they are licensed to use.
2. Service and Interference Protections
    101. In this section, we adopt the service and interference 
protection rules that we proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM. In the NPRM, 
we raised three potential interference issues with respect to the 
adoption of the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard: (1) Interference caused 
by ATSC 3.0 signals to ATSC 1.0 (DTV) signals, (2) interference caused 
by DTV or ATSC 3.0 signals to other ATSC 3.0 signals, and (3) 
interference-related concerns arising with respect to ATSC 3.0 signals 
and non-television services that operate within or adjacent to the TV 
band. We proposed to use the same technical parameters as we use for 
DTV signals when evaluating interference caused by or from an ATSC 3.0 
signal. We also proposed to update our rules to allow updated 
population inputs when evaluating a broadcaster's application for a new 
or modified facility.
a. Interference Protection of ATSC 1.0 (DTV) Signals
    102. As we proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM, we will use our 
existing methodology and planning factors to calculate how ATSC 3.0 
signals will interfere with ATSC 1.0 signals. In the NPRM, we proposed 
to apply the methodology and planning factors specified in OET Bulletin 
No. 69 to calculate interference from ATSC 3.0 to DTV signals, and we 
sought comment on whether DTV operations would be sufficiently 
protected by the OET Bulletin No. 69 methodology and planning factors 
when applied to interference predictions from ATSC 3.0 signals. The 
Petition included laboratory measurements that suggested that RF 
emission mask and effective radiated power limits for the ATSC 3.0 
signal could remain unchanged from existing limits for DTV signals. 
Based on those measurements, we proposed to calculate interference from 
ATSC 3.0 signals in accordance with 47 CFR 73.622, 73.623 and 74.703 
and as implemented by OET Bulletin No. 69. We solicited specific 
measurement results in response to the Petitioners' claim that ATSC 3.0 
and DTV signals should be considered equivalent in terms of potential 
interference to DTV signals, but received no additional reports or 
measurements to either support or refute the claim that ATSC 3.0 
signals could be treated the same as DTV signals when considering 
interference from ATSC 3.0 to DTV signals. However, all commenters who 
addressed the issue supported our proposed approach, and no alternative 
methodologies or planning factors were proposed. We accordingly adopt 
the use of the methodology and planning factors specified in Sections 
73.622, 73.624 and 74.703 of the Commission's rules and in OET Bulletin 
No. 69 to calculate interference from ATSC 3.0 to DTV signals, and we 
make no modifications to these rules or to the RF emission mask and 
effective radiated power limits.
b. Service and Interference Protection of ATSC 3.0 Signals
    103. We also adopt our proposals regarding service and interference 
protection of ATSC 3.0 signals; we will use the same methodology and 
planning factors defined for DTV when defining the service area of an 
ATSC 3.0 signal and define the ATSC 3.0 interference criteria for co- 
and adjacent channel interfering signals at the same levels as 
specified in OET Bulletin No. 69 for DTV signals. The DTV transmission 
standard has fixed transmission and error correction parameters and a 
single associated minimum signal strength threshold (or signal-to-
noise-ratio/SNR threshold) for service. The minimum SNR threshold is 
used as a basis for determining where a DTV broadcast television 
station's signal can be received. Whether a DTV broadcast television 
station is considered to have service and receive protection from 
interference is determined in part by this threshold. The minimum 
expected signal level for an ATSC 3.0 signal is much more dynamic. The 
ATSC 3.0 standard enables broadcasters to choose from multiple 
modulation and error correction parameters, which have the effect of 
allowing them to adjust data rates and corresponding minimum SNR 
thresholds. Further, ATSC 3.0 enables broadcasters to transmit multiple 
program streams with different parameters simultaneously. This means 
that, as a practical matter, the actual area where the signal of a 
television station broadcasting an ATSC 3.0 signal can be received may 
not necessarily match up to the same area defined by the single minimum 
SNR threshold of DTV. The SNR threshold for the ATSC 3.0 transmission 
standard will be variable and station-specific, enabling tradeoffs 
depending on each station's programming offerings and quality of 
service goals. In consideration of the dynamic nature of ATSC 3.0 
transmission standard, our rules will maintain the status quo for 
interference protection and allow us to calculate the coverage areas of 
ATSC 3.0 stations with certainty. We discuss each aspect of Service and 
Protection of ATSC 3.0 signals below.
(i) Preservation of Service
    104. We require Next Gen TV broadcasters to offer at least one free 
ATSC 3.0 video programming stream comparable to a DTV signal and to 
provide a signal with a chosen modulation/coding scheme that requires a 
SNR of no more than would be required of a DTV signal.\118\ This 
requirement will preserve service to existing OTA viewers, all else 
being equal (i.e., an ATSC 3.0 transmission from the same antenna, 
location, and power level, received by equipment with the same 
performance as a DTV transmission will cover the same area as a 
comparable DTV signal).
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    \118\ OET Bulletin No. 69 defines service of a DTV signal as 
those locations where the SNR is 15 or greater. This would be the 
same threshold applied to the free ATSC 3.0 video programming stream 
to achieve a ``DTV-equivalent'' service.
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    105. We adopt our proposal to mandate Next Gen TV broadcasters to 
offer at least one free ATSC 3.0 video programming stream that requires 
a SNR of no more than 15 dB (streams requiring a lower SNR would also

[[Page 5018]]

qualify).\119\ By adopting this requirement, we guarantee that any 
station beginning ATSC 3.0 operation will continue to provide at least 
one free video programming stream to viewers within the ATSC 1.0-
equivalent service area who choose to upgrade their receiver equipment 
to the Next Gen TV standard. Generally, commenters support this 
approach, but AT&T and ATVA suggest that the proposal ``does not go far 
enough.'' We believe that mandating a lower threshold for ATSC 3.0 
signals, as suggested by AT&T and ATVA, is unnecessary because a lower 
threshold would potentially encompass a larger audience than an 
equivalent DTV signal.\120\ At the same time, to the extent that 
broadcasters want to offer a video programming stream in the manner 
suggested by AT&T and ATVA, a signal with a 0 dB minimum SNR would 
satisfy our requirement because 0 dB is less than the 15 dB service 
threshold ceiling for minimum SNR being adopted here. Therefore, we 
adopt a SNR that balances the need for OTA viewers throughout an ATSC 
3.0 station's contour to receive television broadcast services when 
stations choose to voluntarily transmit ATSC 3.0 signals with the 
desire of broadcasters to flexibly offer various programming streams in 
ATSC 3.0 in addition to the minimum single free program stream required 
for DTV signals by 47 CFR 73.624.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \119\ The single free ATSC 3.0 video programming stream must 
comply with the ATSC A/322 standard for a period of five years from 
the date of publication in the Federal Register.
    \120\ Additionally, if an HD video stream requires about 3 Mbps 
with ATSC 3.0, then assuming the entire signal uses the 15 dB SNR 
value and thus about 25 Mbps is available in total, then most of the 
capacity of the signal would remain available, therefore making the 
impact of this requirement minimal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Next Gen TV Service Area
    106. We will use the methodology and planning factors defined in 
OET Bulletin No. 69 to define an ATSC 3.0 ``DTV-equivalent'' service 
area in which the ATSC 3.0 signal is protected from interference, as we 
proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM. Historically, we have relied upon 
this methodology and these planning factors to determine service for 
DTV with satisfactory results, and many commenters support the 
proposal. ONE Media is the only commenter that does not support the 
proposal, suggesting that, ``except for cases in which other Commission 
rules require reference to a service area (e.g., community of license 
coverage), the Commission should abandon efforts to define service 
areas and instead should provide broadcasters flexibility to deploy in 
whatever manner the market demands.'' We elect not to adopt ONE Media's 
proposal because such a significant shift would not align with the 
Commission's current goal to minimize the potential impact to viewers 
of stations that voluntarily choose to switch to ATSC 3.0.
(iii) Interference Protection
    107. We will use a protection threshold for Next Gen TV signals 
that would provide an equivalent level of protection as provided to a 
DTV signal, as we proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM. Under this 
approach, an ATSC 3.0 signal will be protected from co-channel and 
adjacent channel interference as defined in OET Bulletin No. 69.\121\ 
Commenters generally support the proposal to use the OET-69 thresholds 
to protect ATSC 3.0 signals from interference. TV White space 
proponents generally oppose any protections that would allow 
broadcasters to expand their service areas beyond the existing DTV 
service area definition. NAB states that ``the Commission need not 
consider modifications to the methodology or planning factors in OET-
69.'' One Ministries requests that we ``relax the adjacent channel D/U 
ratio for all receivers (not just ATSC 3.0 receivers) to be 33 dB or 
higher,'' but no other commenters discuss this issue. Public Interest 
Groups support maintaining the existing interference protections and 
oppose any expansion of the service area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \121\ The threshold levels at which interference is considered 
to occur are: (i) For co-channel stations, the D/U ratio is + 15 dB. 
This value is only valid at locations where the signal-to-noise 
ratio is 28 dB or greater. At the edge of the noise-limited service 
area, where the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio is 16 dB, this value is 
+ 23 dB. At locations where the S/N ratio is greater than 16 dB but 
less than 28 dB, D/U values are computed from the following formula: 
D/U = 15 + 10log10[1.0/(1.0-10-x/10)] Where x = S/N-15.19 (minimum 
signal to noise ratio) (ii) For interference from a lower first-
adjacent channel, the D/U ratio is -28 dB. (iii) For interference 
from an upper first-adjacent channel, the D/U ratio is -26 dB.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    108. We have not been given sufficient information to conclude, nor 
do we have any reason to believe, that ATSC 3.0 receivers will perform 
any differently than DTV receivers perform today. In addition, as 
discussed above, the measurement tests provided by the Petitioners, 
while performed on DTV receivers, demonstrate that the adjacent channel 
emissions of ATSC 3.0 signals are equivalent, and therefore are not 
expected to reduce the sensitivity of ATSC 3.0 receivers. Adopting the 
same interference protection requirements as we have today will provide 
regulatory certainty while broadcasters voluntarily deploy ATSC 3.0. 
Nevertheless, if we receive additional information or conduct our own 
receiver tests, we may revisit whether either the co-channel or 
adjacent channel interference protection criteria for ATSC 3.0 should 
be any different from the interference protections provided for DTV in 
OET Bulletin No. 69.
c. Interference Protection Affecting Other Services
    109. We do not revise our current interference-related rules with 
respect to the other services in the TV band or adjacent bands. In the 
Next Gen TV NPRM, we sought comment on whether there would be any 
interference-related issues that arise with respect to services and 
operations in the TV Band other than those of full-power, Class A, LPTV 
and TV translator stations, as well as whether there could be any such 
issues in other adjacent bands. The record reflects that as long as the 
emission mask, power limits, and the methodology and protection 
criteria in OET Bulletin No. 69 are maintained, no rule changes are 
necessary to protect full-power, Class A, LPTV and TV translator 
services. National Public Radio (NPR) raised concerns about potential 
interference between ATSC 3.0 transmissions on TV channel 6 and FM band 
operations. But as the Petitioners explain, the ATSC 3.0 emission mask 
will remain unchanged,\122\ and therefore we see no need to require 
additional protections for TV channel 6 adjacent to the FM broadcast 
service. We also reject the Wi-Fi Alliance's requests to protect only 
the primary video programming stream of ATSC 3.0 signals and avoid 
requirements to protect single frequency networks (SFNs). White space 
devices (WSDs) must protect the television service, as defined by 
current rules, regardless of how many streams are being offered or 
which stream is primary, just as WSDs are required to protect the 
multiple DTV programming streams that many television stations offer 
today. In addition, to the extent that a DTV station makes a request 
today to deploy a distributed transmission system (DTS) or SFN, WSDs 
must continue to protect those licensed service areas. No comments were 
filed with respect to potential interference-related issues pertaining 
to LPAS or unlicensed wireless microphones operating in the TV bands, 
or with respect to WMTS or RAS

[[Page 5019]]

services in the adjacent band, and therefore, as proposed, we do not 
adopt any changes to those rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \122\ Specifically, the report indicates that RF emission mask 
characteristics will remain unchanged for Next Gen TV, that 
effective radiated power limits for stations may be retained to 
maintain protections for co-channel and adjacent channel 
interference, and that its modulation characteristics are inherently 
noise-like.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Station Interference Protection Population Inputs
    110. We adopt the rule change we proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM 
to evaluate interference that will result from applications for new or 
modified facilities using the latest official U.S. Census figures.\123\ 
The Commission has calculated the degree of permissible interference to 
populations served based on the 2000 U.S. Census population data with 
one exception: For purposes of the incentive auction and repacking 
process, the Commission uses 2010 U.S. Census population data for 
interference calculations. We conclude that it is most reasonable to 
rely on the most up-to-date U.S. Census information for these 
calculations, an approach that the D.C. Circuit upheld in its decision 
to allow the Commission to apply 2010 U.S. census population during the 
incentive auction. We update our rules to permit the Media Bureau to 
use the most recent U.S. Census statistics. We direct the Media Bureau 
to announce when updated U.S. Census statistics have been incorporated 
into our licensing systems and the date upon which such updated inputs 
will be applied at least 60 days before they are used for application 
processing purposes. Thus, after the repacking process is complete, any 
broadcast television service or interference calculations will be based 
on 2010 U.S. Census statistics, until after 2020, when the next U.S. 
Census statistics are scheduled to become available and the Media 
Bureau subsequently announces the date of application of such data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \123\ The Bureau will incorporate the statistics as they become 
available and it is able to incorporate the statistics into the 
Commission's licensing processing systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Next Gen TV Single Frequency Networks (SFNs)
    111. As proposed in the Next Gen TV NPRM, we conclude that 
broadcast television stations may operate ATSC 3.0 Single Frequency 
Networks (SFNs) pursuant to our current rules authorizing Distributed 
Transmission Systems (DTS). Commenters support the authorization of 
SFNs for Next Gen TV broadcasters, and emphasize the importance of such 
networks to the successful deployment of ATSC 3.0 broadcasting. We also 
adopt our proposal to require that all transmitters under a single DTS 
license follow the same broadcast television transmission standard. 
Finally, as proposed, we decline to adopt a synchronization standard 
specific to ATSC 3.0.
    112. As explained in the Next Gen TV NPRM, broadcasters 
traditionally have used a single transmission site, and have provided 
fill-in service using separately licensed secondary transmission sites 
that typically use different RF channels. However, a broadcaster using 
a DTS provides television service to its area by two or more 
transmission sites using an identical signal on the same RF channel, 
synchronized to manage self-interference.\124\ The rules established in 
the DTS Report and Order describe the authorized service area, maximum 
service area, station reference point, coverage determination, 
protection from interference, and application requirements for DTS 
stations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \124\ Radio waves require a certain amount of time to travel any 
given distance. In the case of a DTS network, this means that a 
location in the service area of the station will most likely receive 
the signals from the different transmitters at different times, 
because the transmitters are different distances away from that 
location. TV receivers are typically designed to handle a certain 
range of time differences to accommodate signal reflections. If a 
received DTS time difference falls outside that range, to the 
receiver the signals appear to be co-channel interference. Because 
the timing difference is predictable based on distance, precise 
synchronization of the signals from the different transmitters 
allows a station to offset the broadcast times with high precision, 
so that the areas where large timing differences occur can be 
redirected to low-impact regions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    113. Commenters claim that broadcasters that deploy ATSC 3.0 will 
have the ability to efficiently form SFNs, which for the purposes of 
broadcast television is a term that is synonymous with DTS. No 
commenters oppose the idea that broadcasters that opt to deploy ATSC 
3.0 should be able to use SFNs. MWG points out that ATSC 3.0 ``uses a 
form of modulation that is designed to support SFNs in DTS-style 
operations,'' and that ``. . . with ATSC 3.0, signals from several 
transmitters can be allowed to overlap, and the overlap can be 
compensated. Indeed, the overlap can help to improve reception.'' The 
record thus suggests that providing broadcasters with the ability to 
use SFNs has the potential to make Next Gen TV services more robust.
    114. We adopt our tentative conclusion in the Next Gen TV NPRM that 
the rules the Commission already has established to authorize a DTS 
station generally are adequate to authorize an ATSC 3.0 SFN station. 
Several commenters request that we amend the service area rules 
applicable to DTS to enable Next Gen TV stations to expand the area 
that an ATSC 3.0 SFN license could cover. Other commenters oppose 
changes to the current service area rules without further public 
comment. The record generally does not address the technical 
complexities that could be raised if we adopt this proposal or the 
effect that changes to authorized DTS service areas could have on any 
of our other rules that depend on station service areas. While we 
recognize that the changes suggested by commenters could potentially 
facilitate Next Gen TV deployment, no commenters state that the 
proposed changes are necessary for broadcasters to begin using SFNs 
with the ATSC 3.0 standard. As such, we find that the record does not 
support changes to the authorized service areas for Next Gen TV SFNs, 
and we decline to make any such changes at this time. The Commission 
will monitor the deployment of ATSC 3.0 in the marketplace and will 
reconsider this issue in the future if appropriate.\125\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \125\ We note that stations that are interested in pursuing a 
change to their DTS service area may file for waiver of our DTS 
rules pursuant to our general waiver standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    115. We also adopt our tentative conclusion that there is no need 
to implement a specific synchronization standard for ATSC 3.0 SFNs. In 
the DTS Report and Order, the Commission found that it was not 
necessary for a DTS station to use a specific synchronization system as 
long as (1) the synchronization used by a station is effective in 
minimizing interference within the system, (2) the station otherwise 
provides service to the population within its service area consistent 
with Commission rules, and (3) the station complies with the technical 
standard adopted by the Commission. Thus, although ATSC had developed 
the A/110 ``ATSC Standard for Transmitter Synchronization,'' the 
Commission determined that it was not necessary to incorporate this 
standard into our rules and that DTS stations should have flexibility 
with regard to transmitter synchronization. We agree with commenters 
that we should take the same approach for ATSC 3.0 SFNs, and note that 
no commenters contested our proposal to adopt this approach. As MWG 
explains, ``there are many ways in which such synchronization can be 
obtained, and while the ATSC has developed an approach to transmitter 
synchronization that is being standardized to facilitate interoperation 
of equipment obtained from different manufacturers, there is no reason 
for the Commission to constrain the choices that a broadcaster can 
make.'' \126\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \126\ We also note that the A/322 standard, which we incorporate 
into our rules, does not include a synchronization standard, nor 
does it implicate any specific synchronization standards.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 5020]]

    116. Finally, we adopt our proposed rule to require all DTS 
transmitters under the same license to follow the same digital 
television broadcasting transmission standard. No one commented on this 
proposal. This simple measure is meant to ensure that stations do not 
attempt to mix ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 transmissions within a DTS 
network. Doing so would introduce significant self-interference within 
the station's service area and would be harmful to consumers.

II. Procedural Matters

A. Final Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    117. This document contains new information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).\127\ The 
requirements will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general 
public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment on the 
information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. The 
Commission will publish a separate document in the Federal Register at 
a later date seeking these comments. In addition, we note that pursuant 
to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA),\128\ we 
previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further 
reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns 
with fewer than 25 employees.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \127\ The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-
13, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified in Chapter 35 of title 44 
U.S.C.).
    \128\ The Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (SBPRA), 
Public Law 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (2002) (codified in Chapter 35 of 
title 44 U.S.C.). See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Congressional Review Act

    118. The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order in a 
report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office, 
pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \129\ See 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    119. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
incorporated in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding. 
The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) sought written 
public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the 
IRFA. The Commission received one comment on the IRFA, while some other 
commenters discussed the effect of the proposals on smaller entities, 
as discussed below. This present Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(FRFA) conforms to the RFA.
    120. Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order. In summary, 
we authorize television broadcasters to use the ``Next Generation'' 
broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard, also called 
``ATSC 3.0'' or ``3.0,'' on a voluntary, market-driven basis. This 
authorization is subject to broadcasters continuing to deliver current-
generation digital television (DTV) service, using the ATSC 1.0 
transmission standard, also called ``ATSC 1.0'' or ``1.0,'' to their 
viewers. The Report and Order adopts rules that will afford 
broadcasters flexibility to deploy Next Gen TV service, while 
minimizing the impact on, and costs to, consumers and other industry 
stakeholders.
    121. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in 
Response to the IRFA. NTCA was the only party to file comments in 
direct response to the IRFA. NTCA's comments focused on two key burdens 
it says will be imposed on its members and other small MVPDs as a 
result of broadcasters' voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 service. 
First, NTCA contends that small MVPDs will bear the significant costs 
associated with 3.0 carriage (even if carriage of 3.0 signals is not 
mandatory) because broadcasters will be able to use their market power 
to compel small MVPDs to carry 3.0 signals through the retransmission 
consent process. To address this issue, NTCA requests that we prohibit 
carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals via retransmission consent. Second, NTCA 
contends that small MVPDs will bear costs associated with carriage of 
1.0 simulcast signals which are moved to a host station's facility. 
Finally, NTCA argues that the IRFA is ``deficient'' because ``it 
provides no estimates of expenses or burdens that small MVPDs may 
encounter as a result of ATSC 1.0 simulcasting.''
    122. The R&O responds to these arguments proffered by NTCA and 
other small MVPDs. First, the R&O makes clear that MVPDs are under no 
statutory or regulatory obligation to carry any 3.0 signals.\130\ 
Because MVPDs are not obligated by rule or law to carry ATSC 3.0 
signals, any costs to MVPDs of 3.0 carriage are voluntary. Thus, the 
rules adopted do not impose direct costs on MVPDs. In addition, the R&O 
concludes that it is premature to address any issues that may arise 
with respect to the voluntary carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals before 
broadcasters begin transmitting in ATSC 3.0.\131\ Therefore, the R&O 
declines to adopt any new rules regarding retransmission consent in 
this proceeding and will allow these issues at the outset to be 
addressed through marketplace negotiations. Second, the R&O observes 
that, under the existing must-carry rules, broadcasters are required to 
bear the costs of delivering a good quality 1.0 signal to MVPDs. This 
remains true for stations relocating their 1.0 simulcast channel to a 
host facility. The existing rules, however, do not apply to the costs 
on MVPDs of receiving and redistributing the signal to their 
subscribers and so MVPDs generally assume these costs. Such costs are 
generally viewed as the costs of doing business as MVPDs. The R&O does 
not change this understanding. The R&O finds that the costs incurred 
due to local simulcasting will occur on a market-driven basis and are 
properly borne by the MVPDs. Finally, we disagree with NTCA's claim 
that the IRFA was deficient, but respond to this claim in Section F. of 
this FRFA because it relates to the sufficiency of the alternatives 
considered to minimize costs and burdens on small MVPDs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \130\ The Report and Order also reminds parties of the statutory 
requirement that they negotiate in good faith.
    \131\ We note that no data is available to quantify the costs 
associated with ATSC 3.0 carriage. See ATVA Comments at 10 (``Unlike 
the costs associated with ATSC 1.0 simulcasts, MVPDs cannot yet 
quantify the costs associated with ATSC 3.0 carriage. Much of the 
necessary equipment does not yet exist.''). Although ATVA speculates 
that ``broadcasters will insist on ATSC 3.0 carriage once the 
Commission adopts ATSC 3.0 rules,'' ATVA representatives explain 
that to date, they have generally been able to reach agreements that 
delayed immediate carriage of ATSC 3.0.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    123. Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the 
Small Business Administration. The Chief Counsel did not file any 
comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.
    124. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to 
Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply. The types of small entities that 
may be affected by the R&O fall within the following categories: (1) 
Wired Telecommunications Carriers; Cable Companies and Systems (Rate 
Regulation); (2) Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard); (3) 
Direct Broadcast Satellite Service; (4) Satellite Master Antenna 
Television (SMATV) Systems, also known as Private Cable Operators 
(PCOs); (5) Home Satellite Dish (HSD) Service, (6) Open Video Services; 
(7) Wireless Cable Systems--Broadband Radio Service and

[[Page 5021]]

Educational Broadband Service; (8) Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers 
(ILECs) and Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers; Radio and 
Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment 
Manufacturing; (9) Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing; (10) and 
Television Broadcasting.
    125. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements. Because the deployment of ATSC 3.0 service by 
Next Gen TV stations is purely voluntary, the rules related to the 
provision of 3.0 service apply only to stations who choose to 
participate. That is, there are no new mandatory reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements for stations that 
choose not to participate. For broadcasters that choose to deploy ATSC 
3.0 service, there are reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance 
requirements. Stations that elect to broadcast using the Next Gen TV 
standard must (1) provide one free, over-the-air video stream broadcast 
in ATSC 3.0; (2) air a local simulcast of the primary video programming 
stream of their ATSC 3.0 channel in ATSC 1.0 format; must file an 
application to modify its license with the Commission, and receive 
prior Commission approval, before: (a) Moving its 1.0 signal to a 
temporary simulcast host station or moving its 1.0 simulcast to a 
different host station; (b) commencing the airing of a 3.0 channel on a 
3.0 host station (that has already converted to 3.0 operation) or 
moving its 3.0 channel to a different host station; or (c) converting 
its existing station to 3.0 technology or from 3.0 back to 1.0; and (4) 
file the appropriate schedule(s) to FCC Form 2100 and must provide a 
copy of the local simulcasting agreement to the Commission upon 
request.
    126. Steps Taken to Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered. The Commission 
considered but declined to adopt certain alternatives suggested by 
MVPDs to (1) negotiate for carriage of 3.0 signals separately from 
carriage of 1.0 signals; (2) nullify existing contractual clauses that 
would require MVPDs to carry 3.0 signals; (3) in the event of a good 
faith complaint, subpoena negotiation-related documents under a 
protective order to overcome any non-disclosure provisions; (4) 
prohibit carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals via retransmission consent.
    127. The R&O declines to adopt a Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0) tuner 
mandate. In deciding to rely on market forces in lieu of the 
alternative of a tuner mandate, the Order lessens potential burdens 
that equipment manufacturers, including small entities, otherwise might 
face. When making this determination, the Commission considered 
arguments raised by parties like ATBA who supported the alternative of 
a tuner mandate for all television receivers, including smartphones and 
other mobile devices, but ultimately agreed with those commenters who 
argued consumer demand will drive the inclusion of ATSC 3.0 tuners in 
television receivers.
    128. Report to Congress: The Commission will send a copy of this 
R&O in a report to be sent to Congress and the Government 
Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 
U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
    129. It is ordered, pursuant to the authority found in Sections 1, 
4, 7, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 399b, 403, 
614, and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
151, 154, 157, 301, 303, 307, 308, 309, 316, 319, 325(b), 336, 338, 
399b, 403, 534, and 535, this Report and Order is hereby adopted, 
effective thirty (30) days after the date of publication in the Federal 
Register.
    130. It is further ordered that the Commission's rules are hereby 
amended as set forth in Appendix B and will become effective 30 days 
after publication in the Federal Register, except for 47 CFR 73.3801, 
73.6029, and 74.782 which contain new or modified information 
collection requirements that require approval by the OMB under the PRA 
and which shall become effective after the Commission publishes a 
notice in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval and the 
effective date of the rules.
    131. It is further ordered that, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 155(c), the 
Chief, Media Bureau, is granted delegated authority for the narrow 
purpose of amending FCC Form 2100 as necessary to implement the 
licensing process adopted herein.
    132. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 15

    Communications equipment, Computer technology.

47 CFR Part 73

    Communications equipment, Incorporation by reference, Television.

47 CFR Part 74

    Communications equipment, Television.

47 CFR Part 76

    Cable television.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Federal Communications 
Commission amends 47 CFR parts 15, 73, 74, and 76 as set forth below:

PART 15--RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 544a, and 
549.

0
2. Amend Sec.  15.117 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.117  TV broadcast receivers.

* * * * *
    (b) TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving 
all channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast 
service that broadcast digital signals using the DTV transmission 
standard in Sec.  73.682(d) of this chapter, but need not be capable of 
receiving analog signals or signals using the Next Gen TV transmission 
standard in Sec.  73.682(f) of this chapter.
* * * * *

PART 73--RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES

0
3. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 309, 310, 334, 336, and 339.

0
4. Amend Sec.  73.616 by revising paragraph (e)(1) introductory text 
and adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.616  Post-transition DTV station interference protection.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (1) For evaluating compliance with the requirements of this 
paragraph, interference to populations served is to be predicted based 
on the most recent official decennial U.S. Census population data as 
identified by the Media Bureau in a Public Notice issued not less than 
60 days prior to use of the data for a specific year in application 
processing, and otherwise according to the procedure set forth in OET 
Bulletin No. 69: ``Longley-Rice Methodology for Evaluating TV Coverage 
and

[[Page 5022]]

Interference'' (February 6, 2004) (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
73.8000), including population served within service areas determined 
in accordance with Sec.  73.622(e), consideration of whether F(50,10) 
undesired signals will exceed the following desired-to-undesired (D/U) 
signal ratios, assumed use of a directional receiving antenna, and use 
of the terrain dependent Longley-Rice point-to-point propagation model. 
Applicants may request the use of a cell size other than the default of 
2.0 km per side, but only requests for cell sizes of 1.0 km per side or 
0.5 km per side will be considered. The threshold levels at which 
interference is considered to occur are:
* * * * *
    (g) The interference protection requirements contained in this 
section apply to television station operations under both the DTV 
transmission standard in Sec.  73.682(d) and the Next Gen TV 
transmission standard in Sec.  73.682(f).

0
5. Amend Sec.  73.624 by adding paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.624  Digital television broadcast stations.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) DTV licensees or permittees that choose to broadcast an ATSC 
3.0 signal (using the Next Gen TV transmission standard in Sec.  
73.682(f)) shall transmit at least one free over the air video 
programming stream on that signal that requires at most the signal 
threshold of a comparable received DTV signal. DTV licensees or 
permittees that choose to broadcast an ATSC 3.0 signal (using the Next 
Gen TV transmission standard in Sec.  73.682(f)) shall also simulcast 
the primary video programming stream on its ATSC 3.0 signal by 
broadcasting an ATSC 1.0 signal (using the DTV transmission standard in 
Sec.  73.682(d)) from another broadcast television facility within its 
local market in accordance with the local simulcasting requirement in 
Sec. Sec.  73.3801, 73.6029 and 74.782 of this chapter.
* * * * *

0
6. Amend Sec.  73.626 by adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.626  DTV distributed transmission systems.

* * * * *
    (g) All transmitters operating under a single DTS license must 
follow the same digital broadcast television transmission standard.

0
7. Amend Sec.  73.682 by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.682  TV transmission standards.

* * * * *
    (f) Next Gen TV broadcast television transmission standard 
authorized. (1) As an alternative to broadcasting only an ATSC 1.0 
signal using the DTV transmission standard set forth in paragraph (d) 
of this section, DTV licensees or permittees may choose to broadcast an 
ATSC 3.0 signal using the Next Gen TV transmission standard set forth 
in this paragraph (f), provided it also broadcasts a simulcast signal 
in ATSC 1.0 (using the DTV transmission standard in Sec.  73.682(d)).
    (2) Effective March 5, 2018, transmission of Next Gen TV broadcast 
television (ATSC 3.0) signals shall comply with the standards for such 
transmissions set forth in ATSC A/321:2016, ``System Discovery and 
Signaling'' (March 23, 2016) (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
73.8000). To the extent that virtual channels (specified in the DTV 
transmission standard referenced in ATSC A/65C:2006 in paragraph (d) of 
this section) are used in the transmission of Next Gen TV broadcasting, 
major channel numbers shall be assigned as required by ATSC A/65C:2006 
Annex B (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  73.8000). In addition, 
until February 2, 2023, such signals shall also comply with the 
standards set forth in ATSC A/322:2017 ``Physical Layer Protocol'' 
(June 6, 2017) (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  73.8000) with 
respect to the transmission of at least one free over the air primary 
video programming stream.

0
8. Add Sec.  73.3801 to subpart H to read as follows:


Sec.  73.3801  Full power television simulcasting during the ATSC 3.0 
(Next Gen TV) transition.

    (a) Simulcasting arrangements. For purposes of compliance with the 
simulcasting requirement in paragraph (b) of this section, a full power 
television station may partner with one or more other full power 
stations or with one or more Class A, LPTV, or TV translator stations 
in a simulcasting arrangement for purposes of airing either an ATSC 1.0 
or ATSC 3.0 signal on a host station's (i.e., a station whose 
facilities are being used to transmit programming originated by another 
station) facilities. Noncommercial educational television stations may 
participate in simulcasting arrangements with commercial stations.
    (1) A full power television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a Class A host station must comply with the 
rules governing power levels and interference applicable to Class A 
stations, and must comply in all other respects with the rules and 
policies applicable to full power television stations set forth in this 
part.
    (2) A full power television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a low power television or TV translator 
host station must comply with the rules of part 74 of this chapter 
governing power levels and interference applicable to low power 
television or TV translator stations, and must comply in all other 
respects with the rules and policies applicable to full power 
television stations set forth in this part.
    (3) A full power noncommercial educational television (NCE) station 
airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities of a commercial 
television host station must comply with the rules applicable to NCE 
licensees.
    (b) Simulcasting requirement. A full power television station that 
chooses to air an ATSC 3.0 signal must simulcast the primary video 
programming stream of that signal in an ATSC 1.0 format. This 
requirement does not apply to any multicast streams aired on the ATSC 
3.0 channel.
    (1) The programming aired on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must be 
``substantially similar'' to that aired on the ATSC 3.0 primary video 
programming stream. For purposes of this section, ``substantially 
similar'' means that the programming must be the same except for 
advertisements, promotions for upcoming programs, and programming 
features that are based on the enhanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0. These 
enhanced capabilities include:
    (i) Hyper-localized content (e.g., geo-targeted weather, targeted 
emergency alerts, and hyper-local news):
    (ii) Programming features or improvements created for the ATSC 3.0 
service (e.g., emergency alert ``wake up'' ability and interactive 
program features);
    (iii) Enhanced formats made possible by ATSC 3.0 technology (e.g., 
4K or HDR); and
    (iv) Personalization of programming performed by the viewer and at 
the viewer's discretion. (2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this 
section, programming that airs at a different time on the ATSC 1.0 
simulcast signal than on the primary video programming stream of the 
ATSC 3.0 signal is not considered ``substantially similar.''
    (c) Coverage requirements for the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal. For 
full power broadcasters that elect temporarily to relocate their ATSC 
1.0 signal to the facilities of a host station for purposes of 
deploying ATSC 3.0

[[Page 5023]]

service (and that convert their existing facilities to ATSC 3.0), the 
ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must continue to cover the station's entire 
community of license (i.e., the station must choose a host from whose 
transmitter site the Next Gen TV station will continue to meet the 
community of license signal requirement over its current community of 
license, as required by Sec.  73.625) and the host station must be 
assigned to the same Designated Market Area (DMA) as the originating 
station (i.e., the station whose programming is being transmitted on 
the host station).
    (d) Coverage requirements for ATSC 3.0 signals. For full power 
broadcasters that elect to continue broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 on the 
station's existing facilities and transmit an ATSC 3.0 signal on the 
facilities of a host station, the ATSC 3.0 signal must be established 
on a host station assigned to the same DMA as the originating station.
    (e) Simulcasting agreements. (1) Simulcasting agreements must 
contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and 
responsibilities regarding:
    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have 
unrestrained access to the host station's transmission facilities;
    (ii) Allocation of bandwidth within the host station's channel;
    (iii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of 
facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description 
of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice 
provisions;
    (iv) Conditions under which the simulcast agreement may be 
terminated, assigned or transferred; and
    (v) How a guest station's (i.e., a station originating programming 
that is being transmitted using the facilities of another station) 
signal may be transitioned off the host station.
    (2) Broadcasters must maintain a written copy of any simulcasting 
agreement and provide it to the Commission upon request.
    (f) Licensing of simulcasting stations and stations converting to 
ATSC 3.0 operation. (1) Each station participating in a simulcasting 
arrangement pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and 
operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject 
to all applicable Commission obligations, rules, and policies. ATSC 1.0 
and ATSC 3.0 signals aired on the facilities of a host station will be 
licensed as temporary second channels of the originating station. The 
Commission will include a note on the originating station's license 
identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal being aired on the 
facilities of a host station. The Commission will also include a note 
on a host station's license identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 guest 
signal(s) being aired on the facilities of the host station.
    (2) Application required. A full power broadcaster must file an 
application (FCC Form 2100) with the Commission, and receive Commission 
approval, before:
    (i) Moving its ATSC 1.0 signal to the facilities of a host station, 
moving that signal from the facilities of an existing host station to 
the facilities of a different host station, or discontinuing an ATSC 
1.0 guest signal;
    (ii) Commencing the airing of an ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities 
of a host station (that has already converted to ATSC 3.0 operation), 
moving its ATSC 3.0 signal to the facilities of a different host 
station, or discontinuing an ATSC 3.0 guest signal; or
    (iii) Converting its existing station to transmit an ATSC 3.0 
signal or converting the station from ATSC 3.0 back to ATSC 1.0 
transmissions.
    (3) Streamlined process. With respect to any application in 
paragraph (f)(2) of this section, a full power broadcaster may file 
only an application for modification of license, provided no other 
changes are being requested in such application that would require the 
filing of an application for a construction permit as otherwise 
required by the rules (see, e.g., Sec.  73.1690).
    (4) Host station. A host station must first make any necessary 
changes to its facilities before a guest station may file an 
application to air a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on such host.
    (5) Expedited processing. An application filed in accordance with 
the streamlined process in paragraph (f)(3) of this section will 
receive expedited processing provided, for stations requesting to air 
an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host station, the station 
will provide ATSC 1.0 service to at least 95 percent of the predicted 
population within the noise limited service contour of its original 
ATSC 1.0 facility.
    (6) Required information. (i) An application in paragraph (f)(2) of 
this section must include the following information:
    (A) The station serving as the host, if applicable;
    (B) The technical facilities of the host station, if applicable;
    (C) The DMA of the originating broadcaster's facility and the DMA 
of the host station, if applicable; and
    (D) Any other information deemed necessary by the Commission to 
process the application.
    (ii) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section includes 
a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host 
station, the broadcaster must, in addition to the information in 
paragraph (f)(6)(i), also indicate on the application:
    (A) The predicted population within the noise limited service 
contour served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal;
    (B) The predicted population within the noise limited service 
contour served by the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal that will lose 
the station's ATSC 1.0 service as a result of the simulcasting 
arrangement, including identifying areas of service loss by providing a 
contour overlap map; and
    (C) Whether the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal aired on the host station 
will serve at least 95 percent of the population in paragraph 
(f)(6)(ii)(A) of this section.
    (iii)(A) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section 
includes a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a 
host station and does not meet the 95 percent standard in paragraph 
(f)(6)(ii) of this section, the application must contain, in addition 
to the information in paragraphs (f)(6)(i) and (ii) of this section, 
the following information:
    (1) Whether there is another possible host station(s) in the market 
that would result in less service loss to existing viewers and, if so, 
why the Next Gen TV broadcaster chose to partner with a host station 
creating a larger service loss;
    (2) What steps, if any, the station plans to take to minimize the 
impact of the service loss (e.g., providing ATSC 3.0 dongles, set-top 
boxes, or gateway devices to viewers in the loss area); and
    (3) The public interest benefits of the simulcasting arrangement 
and a showing of why the benefit(s) of granting the application would 
outweigh the harm(s).
    (B) These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    (g) Consumer education for Next Gen TV stations. (1) Commercial and 
noncommercial educational stations that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals 
(e.g., moving to a host station's facility, subsequently moving to a 
different host, or returning to its original facility) are required to 
air daily Public Service Announcements (PSAs) or crawls every day for 
30 days prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 
operations on their existing facilities. Stations that transition 
directly to ATSC 3.0 will be required to air daily PSAs or crawls every 
day for 30 days prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC 
1.0 operations.

[[Page 5024]]

    (2) PSAs. Each PSA must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station and be 
closed-captioned.
    (3) Crawls. Each crawl must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station.
    (4) Content of PSAs or crawls. For stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 signals or transitioning directly to ATSC 3.0, each PSA or crawl 
must provide all pertinent information to consumers.
    (h) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Next Gen TV stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 signals (e.g., moving to a temporary host station's facilities, 
subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to its original 
facility) must provide notice to MVPDs that:
    (i) No longer will be required to carry the station's ATSC 1.0 
signal due to the relocation; or
    (ii) Carry and will continue to be obligated to carry the station's 
ATSC 1.0 signal from the new location.
    (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following 
information:
    (i) Date and time of any ATSC 1.0 channel changes;
    (ii) The ATSC 1.0 channel occupied by the station before and after 
commencement of local simulcasting;
    (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power 
levels;
    (iv) Stream identification information; and
    (v) Engineering staff contact information.
    (3) If any of the information in paragraph (h)(2) of this section 
changes, an amended notification must be sent.
    (4)(i) Next Gen TV stations must provide notice as required by this 
section:
    (A) At least 120 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 
signals if the relocation occurs during the post-incentive auction 
transition period; or
    (B) At least 90 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 
signals if the relocation occurs after the post-incentive auction 
transition period (see 47 CFR 27.4).
    (ii) If the anticipated date of the ATSC 1.0 signal relocation 
changes, the station must send a further notice to affected MVPDs 
informing them of the new anticipated date.
    (5) Next Gen TV stations may choose whether to provide notice as 
required by this section either by a letter notification or 
electronically via email if the relevant MVPD agrees to receive such 
notices by email. Letter notifications to MVPDs must be sent by 
certified mail, return receipt requested to the MVPD's address in the 
FCC's Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), if the MVPD has an online 
file. For cable systems that do not have an online file, notices must 
be sent to the cable system's official address of record provided in 
the system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and 
Licensing System (COALS). For MVPDs with no official address in OPIF or 
COALS, the letter must be sent to the MVPD's official corporate address 
registered with their State of incorporation.

0
9. Add Sec.  73.6029 to subpart J to read as follows:


Sec.  73.6029  Class A television simulcasting during the ATSC 3.0 
(Next Gen TV) transition.

    (a) Simulcasting arrangements. For purposes of compliance with the 
simulcasting requirement in paragraph (b) of this section, a Class A 
television station may partner with one or more other Class A stations 
or with one or more full power, LPTV, or TV translator stations in a 
simulcasting arrangement for purposes of airing either an ATSC 1.0 or 
ATSC 3.0 signal on a host station's (i.e., a station whose facilities 
are being used to transmit programming originated by another station) 
facilities.
    (1) A Class A television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a full power host station must comply with 
the rules of Part 73 of this chapter governing power levels and 
interference, and must comply in all other respects with the rules and 
policies applicable to Class A television stations, as set forth in 
this subpart.
    (2) A Class A television station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a low power television or TV translator 
host station must comply with the rules of part 74 of this chapter 
governing power levels and interference that are applicable to low 
power television or TV translator stations, and must comply in all 
other respects with the rules and policies applicable to Class A 
television stations, as set forth in this subpart.
    (b) Simulcasting requirement. A Class A television station that 
chooses to air an ATSC 3.0 signal must simulcast the primary video 
programming stream of that signal in an ATSC 1.0 format. This 
requirement does not apply to any multicast streams aired on the ATSC 
3.0 channel.
    (1) The programming aired on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must be 
``substantially similar'' to that aired on the ATSC 3.0 primary video 
programming stream. For purposes of this section, ``substantially 
similar'' means that the programming must be the same except for 
advertisements, promotions for upcoming programs, and programming 
features that are based on the enhanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0. These 
enhanced capabilities include:
    (i) Hyper-localized content (e.g., geo-targeted weather, targeted 
emergency alerts, and hyper-local news):
    (ii) Programming features or improvements created for the ATSC 3.0 
service (e.g., emergency alert ``wake up'' ability and interactive 
program features);
    (iii) Enhanced formats made possible by ATSC 3.0 technology (e.g., 
4K or HDR); and
    (iv) Personalization of programming performed by the viewer and at 
the viewer's discretion.
    (2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, programming 
that airs at a different time on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal than on 
the primary video programming stream of the ATSC 3.0 signal is not 
considered ``substantially similar.''
    (c) Coverage requirements for the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal. For 
Class A broadcasters that elect temporarily to relocate their ATSC 1.0 
signal to the facilities of a host station for purposes of deploying 
ATSC 3.0 service (and that convert their existing facilities to ATSC 
3.0), the station:
    (1) Must maintain overlap between the protected contour (Sec.  
73.6010(c)) of its existing signal and its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal;
    (2) May not relocate its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal more than 30 
miles from the reference coordinates of the relocating station's 
existing antenna location; and
    (3) Must select a host station assigned to the same DMA as the 
originating station (i.e., the station whose programming is being 
transmitted on the host station).
    (d) Coverage requirements for ATSC 3.0 signals. For Class A 
broadcasters that elect to continue broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 from the 
station's existing facilities and transmit an ATSC 3.0 signal on the 
facilities of a host station, the ATSC 3.0 signal must be established 
on a host station assigned to the same DMA as the originating station.
    (e) Simulcasting agreements. (1) Simulcasting agreements must 
contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and 
responsibilities regarding:
    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have 
unrestrained access to the host station's transmission facilities;
    (ii) Allocation of bandwidth within the host station's channel;
    (iii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of 
facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description 
of each party's financial

[[Page 5025]]

obligations, and any relevant notice provisions;
    (iv) Conditions under which the simulcast agreement may be 
terminated, assigned or transferred; and
    (v) How a guest station's (i.e., a station originating programming 
that is being transmitted using the facilities of a host station) 
signal may be transitioned off the host station.
    (2) Broadcasters must maintain a written copy of any simulcasting 
agreement and provide it to the Commission upon request.
    (f) Licensing of simulcasting stations and stations converting to 
ATSC 3.0 operation. (1) Each station participating in a simulcasting 
arrangement pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and 
operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject 
to all applicable Commission obligations, rules, and policies. ATSC 1.0 
and ATSC 3.0 signals aired on the facilities of a host station will be 
licensed as temporary second channels of the originating station. The 
Commission will include a note on the originating station's license 
identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal being aired on the 
facilities of a host station. The Commission will also include a note 
on a host station's license identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 guest 
signal(s) being aired on the facilities of the host station.
    (2) Application required. A Class A broadcaster must file an 
application (FCC Form 2100) with the Commission, and receive Commission 
approval, before:
    (i) Moving its ATSC 1.0 signal to the facilities of a host station, 
moving that signal from the facilities of an existing host station to 
the facilities of a different host station, or discontinuing an ATSC 
1.0 guest signal;
    (ii) Commencing the airing of an ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities 
of a host station (that has already converted to ATSC 3.0 operation), 
moving its ATSC 3.0 signal to the facilities of a different host 
station, or discontinuing an ATSC 3.0 guest signal; or
    (iii) Converting its existing station to transmit an ATSC 3.0 
signal or converting the station from ATSC 3.0 back to ATSC 1.0 
transmissions.
    (3) Streamlined process. With respect to an application in 
paragraph (f)(2) of this section, a Class A broadcaster may file only 
an application for modification of license provided no other changes 
are being requested in such application that would require the filing 
of an application for a construction permit as otherwise required by 
the rules (see, e.g., Sec.  73.1690).
    (4) Host station. A host station must first make any necessary 
changes to its facilities before a guest station may file an 
application to air a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on such host.
    (5) Expedited processing. An application filed in accordance with 
the streamlined process in paragraph (f)(3) of this section will 
receive expedited processing provided, for stations requesting to air 
an ATSC signal on the facilities of a host station, the station will 
provide ATSC 1.0 service to at least 95 percent of the predicted 
population within the noise limited service contour of its original 
ATSC 1.0 facility.
    (6) Required information. (i) An application in paragraph (f)(2) of 
this section must include the following information:
    (A) The station serving as the host, if applicable;
    (B) The technical facilities of the host station, if applicable;
    (C) The DMA of the originating broadcaster's facility and the DMA 
of the host station, if applicable; and
    (D) Any other information deemed necessary by the Commission to 
process the application.
    (ii) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section includes 
a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host 
station, the broadcaster must, in addition to the information in 
paragraph (f)(6)(i), also indicate on the application:
    (A) The predicted population within the protected contour served by 
the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal;
    (B) The predicted population within the protected contour served by 
the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal that will lose the station's 
ATSC 1.0 service as a result of the simulcasting arrangement, including 
identifying areas of service loss by providing a contour overlap map; 
and
    (C) Whether the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal aired on the host station 
will serve at least 95 percent of the population in paragraph 
(f)(6)(ii)(A) of this section.
    (iii)(A) If an application in paragraph (f)(2) of this section 
includes a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a 
host station and does not meet the 95 percent standard in paragraph 
(f)(6)(ii) of this section, the application must contain, in addition 
to the information in paragraphs (f)(6)(i) and (ii) of this section, 
the following information:
    (1) Whether there is another possible host station(s) in the market 
that would result in less service loss to existing viewers and, if so, 
why the Next Gen TV broadcaster chose to partner with a host station 
creating a larger service loss;
    (2) What steps, if any, the station plans to take to minimize the 
impact of the service loss (e.g., providing ATSC 3.0 dongles, set-top 
boxes, or gateway devices to viewers in the loss area); and
    (3) The public interest benefits of the simulcasting arrangement 
and a showing of why the benefit(s) of granting the application would 
outweigh the harm(s).
    (B) These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    (g) Consumer education for Next Gen TV stations. (1) Class A 
stations that relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals (e.g., moving to a host 
station's facilities, subsequently moving to a different host, or 
returning to its original facility) will be required to air daily 
Public Service Announcements (PSAs) or crawls every day for 30 days 
prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 operations 
on their existing facilities. Stations that transition directly to ATSC 
3.0 will be required to air daily PSAs or crawls every day for 30 days 
prior to the date that the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 operations.
    (2) PSAs. Each PSA must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station and be 
closed-captioned.
    (3) Crawls. Each crawl must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station.
    (4) Content of PSAs or crawls. For stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 signals or transitioning directly to ATSC 3.0, each PSA or crawl 
must provide all pertinent information to consumers.
    (h) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Next Gen TV stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 signals (e.g., moving to a temporary host station's facilities, 
subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to its original 
facility) must provide notice to MVPDs that:
    (i) No longer will be required to carry the station's ATSC 1.0 
signal due to the relocation; or
    (ii) Carry and will continue to be obligated to carry the station's 
ATSC 1.0 signal from the new location.
    (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following 
information:
    (i) Date and time of any ATSC 1.0 channel changes;
    (ii) The ATSC 1.0 channel occupied by the station before and after 
commencement of local simulcasting;
    (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power 
levels;
    (iv) Stream identification information; and
    (v) Engineering staff contact information.

[[Page 5026]]

    (3) If any of the information in paragraph (h)(2) of this section 
changes, an amended notification must be sent.
    (4)(i) Next Gen TV stations must provide notice as required by this 
section:
    (A) At least 120 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 
signals if the relocation occurs during the post-incentive auction 
transition period; or
    (B) At least 90 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 
signals if the relocation occurs after the post-incentive auction 
transition period.
    (ii) If the anticipated date of the ATSC 1.0 signal relocation 
changes, the station must send a further notice to affected MVPDs 
informing them of the new anticipated date.
    (5) Next Gen TV stations may choose whether to provide notice as 
required by this section either by a letter notification or 
electronically via email if the relevant MVPD agrees to receive such 
notices by email. Letter notifications to MVPDs must be sent by 
certified mail, return receipt requested to the MVPD's address in the 
FCC's Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), if the MVPD has an online 
file. For cable systems that do not have an online file, notices may be 
sent to the cable system's official address of record provided in the 
system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and Licensing 
System (COALS). For MVPDs with no official address in OPIF or COALS, 
the letter must be sent to the MVPD's official corporate address 
registered with their State of incorporation.

0
10. Amend Sec.  73.8000 by adding paragraphs (b)(6) and (7) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  73.8000  Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (6) ATSC A/321:2016, ``System Discovery and Signaling'' (March 23, 
2016), IBR approved for Sec.  73.682.
    (7) ATSC A/322:2017 ``Physical Layer Protocol'' (June 6, 2017), IBR 
approved for Sec.  73.682.
* * * * *

PART 74--EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER 
PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES

0
11. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 310, 336 and 554.

0
12. Add Sec.  74.782 to subpart G to read as follows:


Sec.  74.782  Low power television and TV translator simulcasting 
during the ATSC 3.0 (Next Gen TV) transition.

    (a) Simulcasting arrangements. While broadcasters are voluntarily 
deploying ATSC 3.0, a low power television (LPTV) or TV translator 
station may partner with one or more other LPTV or TV translator 
stations or with one or more full power or Class A stations in a 
simulcasting arrangement for purposes of airing either an ATSC 1.0 or 
ATSC 3.0 signal on a host station's (i.e., a station whose facilities 
are being used to transmit programming originated by another station) 
facilities.
    (1) An LPTV or TV translator station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a full power host station must comply with 
the rules of part 73 of this chapter governing power levels and 
interference, and must comply in all other respects with the rules and 
policies applicable to low power television or TV translator stations 
set forth in this part.
    (2) An LPTV or TV translator station airing an ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 
signal on the facilities of a Class A host station must comply with the 
rules governing power levels and interference applicable to Class A 
television stations, and must comply in all other respects with the 
rules and policies applicable to LPTV or TV translator stations as set 
forth in Part 74 of this chapter.
    (b) Simulcasting requirement. An LPTV or TV translator station that 
elects voluntarily to simulcast while broadcasters are voluntarily 
deploying ATSC 3.0 must simulcast the primary video programming stream 
of their ATSC 3.0 signal in an ATSC 1.0 format. This requirement does 
not apply to any multicast streams aired on the ATSC 3.0 channel.
    (1) The programming aired on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal must be 
``substantially similar'' to that aired on the ATSC 3.0 primary video 
programming stream. For purposes of this section, ``substantially 
similar'' means that the programming must be the same except for 
advertisements, promotions for upcoming programs, and programming 
features that are based on the enhanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0. These 
enhanced capabilities include:
    (i) Hyper-localized content (e.g., geo-targeted weather, targeted 
emergency alerts, and hyper-local news):
    (ii) Programming features or improvements created for the ATSC 3.0 
service (e.g., emergency alert ``wake up'' ability and interactive 
program features);
    (iii) Enhanced formats made possible by ATSC 3.0 technology (e.g., 
4K or HDR); and
    (iv) Personalization of programming performed by the viewer and at 
the viewer's discretion.
    (2) For purposes of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, programming 
that airs at a different time on the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal than on 
the primary video programming stream of the ATSC 3.0 signal is not 
considered ``substantially similar.''
    (c) Transitioning directly to ATSC 3.0. LPTV and TV translator 
stations may transition directly from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 operation 
without simulcasting.
    (d) Coverage requirements for the ATSC 1.0 simulcast channel. For 
LPTV and TV translator stations that elect voluntarily to simulcast and 
temporarily to relocate their ATSC 1.0 signal to the facilities of a 
host station for purposes of deploying ATSC 3.0 service (and that 
convert their existing facilities to ATSC 3.0), the station:
    (1) Must maintain overlap between the protected contour of its 
existing facilities and its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal;
    (2) May not relocate its ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal more than 30 
miles from the reference coordinates of the relocating station's 
existing antenna location; and
    (3) Must select a host station assigned to the same Designated 
Market Area as the originating station (i.e., the station whose 
programming is being transmitted on the host station).
    (e) Coverage requirements for ATSC 3.0 signals. For LPTV and TV 
translator stations that elect voluntarily to simulcast and to continue 
broadcasting in ATSC 1.0 from the station's existing facilities and 
transmit an ATSC 3.0 signal from a host location, the ATSC 3.0 signal 
must be established on a host station assigned to the same DMA as the 
originating station.
    (f) Simulcasting agreements. (1) Simulcasting agreements must 
contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and 
responsibilities regarding:
    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have 
unrestrained access to the host station's transmission facilities;
    (ii) Allocation of bandwidth within the host station's channel;
    (iii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of 
facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description 
of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice 
provisions;
    (iv) Conditions under which the simulcast agreement may be 
terminated, assigned or transferred; and
    (v) How a guest's station's (i.e., a station originating 
programming that is

[[Page 5027]]

being transmitted using the facilities of a host station) signal may be 
transitioned off the host station.
    (2) LPTV and TV translators must maintain a written copy of any 
simulcasting agreement and provide it to the Commission upon request.
    (g) Licensing of simulcasting stations and stations converting to 
ATSC 3.0 operation. (1) Each station participating in a simulcasting 
arrangement pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and 
operated separately, have its own call sign, and be separately subject 
to all applicable Commission obligations, rules, and policies. ATSC 1.0 
and ATSC 3.0 signals aired on the facilities of a host station will be 
licensed as temporary second channels of the originating station. The 
Commission will include a note on the originating station's license 
identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 signal being aired on the 
facilities of a host station. The Commission will also include a note 
on a host station's license identifying any ATSC 1.0 or ATSC 3.0 guest 
signal(s) being aired on the facilities of the host station.
    (2) Application required. An LPTV or TV translator broadcaster must 
file an application (FCC Form 2100) with the Commission, and receive 
Commission approval, before:
    (i) Moving its ATSC 1.0 signal to the facilities of a host station, 
moving that signal from the facilities of an existing host station to 
the facilities of a different host station, or discontinuing an ATSC 
1.0 guest signal;
    (ii) Commencing the airing of an ATSC 3.0 signal on the facilities 
of a host station (that has already converted to ATSC 3.0 operation), 
moving its ATSC 3.0 signal to the facilities of a different host 
station, or discontinuing an ATSC 3.0 guest signal; or
    (iii) Converting its existing station to transmit an ATSC 3.0 
signal or converting the station from ATSC 3.0 back to ATSC 1.0 
transmissions.
    (3) Streamlined process. With respect to an application in 
paragraph (g)(2) of this section, an LPTV or TV translator broadcaster 
may file only an application for modification of license provided no 
other changes are being requested in such application that would 
require the filing of an application for a construction permit as 
otherwise required by the rules (see, e.g., Sec. Sec.  74.751 and 
74.787).
    (4) Host station. A host station must first make any necessary 
changes to its facilities before a guest station may file an 
application to air a 1.0 or 3.0 signal on such host.
    (5) Expedited processing. An application filed in accordance with 
the streamlined process in paragraph (g)(3) of this section will 
receive expedited processing provided, for LPTV and TV translator 
stations seeking voluntarily to simulcast and to air an ATSC 1.0 signal 
on the facilities of a host station, the station will provide ATSC 1.0 
service to at least 95 percent of the predicted population within the 
protected contour of its original ATSC 1.0 facility.
    (6) Required information. (i) An application in paragraph (g)(2) of 
this section must include the following information:
    (A) The station serving as the host, if applicable;
    (B) The technical facilities of the host station, if applicable;
    (C) The DMA of the originating broadcaster's facility and the DMA 
of the host station, if applicable; and
    (D) Any other information deemed necessary by the Commission to 
process the application.
    (ii) If an application in paragraph (g)(2) of this section includes 
a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a host 
station, the LPTV or TV translator broadcaster must also indicate on 
the application:
    (A) The predicted population within the protected contour served by 
the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal;
    (B) The predicted population within the protected contour served by 
the station's original ATSC 1.0 signal that will lose the station's 
ATSC 1.0 service as a result of the simulcasting arrangement, including 
identifying areas of service loss by providing a contour overlap map; 
and
    (C) Whether the ATSC 1.0 simulcast signal aired on the host station 
will serve at least 95 percent of the population in paragraph 
(g)(6)(ii)(A) of this section.
    (iii) If an application in paragraph (g)(2) of this section 
includes a request to air an ATSC 1.0 signal on the facilities of a 
host station and does not meet the 95 percent standard in paragraph 
(g)(6)(ii) of this section, the application must contain, in addition 
to the information in paragraphs (g)(6)(i) and (ii) of this section, 
the following information:
    (A) Whether there is another possible host station(s) in the market 
that would result in less service loss to existing viewers and, if so, 
why the Next Gen TV broadcaster chose to partner with a host station 
creating a larger service loss;
    (B) What steps, if any, the station plans to take to minimize the 
impact of the service loss (e.g., providing ATSC 3.0 dongles, set-top 
boxes, or gateway devices to viewers in the loss area); and
    (C) The public interest benefits of the simulcasting arrangement 
and a showing of why the benefit(s) of granting the application would 
outweigh the harm(s). These applications will be considered on a case-
by-case basis.
    (h) Consumer education for Next Gen TV stations. (1) LPTV and TV 
translator stations that elect voluntarily to simulcast and that 
relocate their ATSC 1.0 signals (e.g., moving to a host station's 
facilities, subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to 
its original facility) will be required to air daily Public Service 
Announcements (PSAs) or crawls every day for 30 days prior to the date 
that the stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 operations on their existing 
facilities. LPTV and TV translator stations that transition directly to 
ATSC 3.0 will be required to air daily Public Service Announcements 
(PSAs) or crawls every day for 30 days prior to the date that the 
stations will terminate ATSC 1.0 operations.
    (2) PSAs. Each PSA must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station and be 
closed-captioned.
    (3) Crawls. Each crawl must be provided in the same language as a 
majority of the programming carried by the transitioning station.
    (4) Content of PSAs or crawls. For stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 signals or transitioning directly to ATSC 3.0, each PSA or crawl 
must provide all pertinent information to consumers.
    (i) Notice to MVPDs. (1) Next Gen TV stations relocating their ATSC 
1.0 simulcast signals (e.g., moving to a temporary host station's 
facilities, subsequently moving to a different host, or returning to 
its original facility) must provide notice to MVPDs that:
    (i) No longer will be required to carry the station's ATSC 1.0 
signal due to the relocation; or
    (ii) Carry and will continue to be obligated to carry the station's 
ATSC 1.0 signal from the new location.
    (2) The notice required by this section must contain the following 
information:
    (i) Date and time of any ATSC 1.0 channel changes;
    (ii) The ATSC 1.0 channel occupied by the station before and after 
commencement of local simulcasting;
    (iii) Modification, if any, to antenna position, location, or power 
levels;
    (iv) Stream identification information; and
    (v) Engineering staff contact information.
    (3) If any of the information in paragraph (f)(2) of this section 
changes, an amended notification must be sent.

[[Page 5028]]

    (4)(i) Next Gen TV stations must provide notice as required by this 
section:
    (A) At least 120 days in advance of relocating their ATSC 1.0 
simulcast signals if the relocation occurs during the post-incentive 
auction transition period; or
    (B) At least 90 days in advance of relocating their 1.0 simulcast 
signals if the relocation occurs after the post-incentive auction 
transition period.
    (ii) If the anticipated date of the ATSC 1.0 service relocation 
changes, the station must send a further notice to affected MVPDs 
informing them of the new anticipated date.
    (5) Next Gen TV stations may choose whether to provide notice as 
required by this section either by a letter notification or 
electronically via email if the relevant MVPD agrees to receive such 
notices by email. Letter notifications to MVPDs must be sent by 
certified mail, return receipt requested to the MVPD's address in the 
FCC's Online Public Inspection File (OPIF), if the MVPD has an online 
file. For cable systems that do not have an online file, notices must 
be sent to the cable system's official address of record provided in 
the system's most recent filing in the FCC's Cable Operations and 
Licensing System (COALS). For MVPDs with no official address in OPIF or 
COALS, the letter must be sent to the MVPD's official corporate address 
registered with their State of incorporation.

PART 76--MULTICHANNEL VIDEO AND CABLE TELEVISION SERVICE

0
13. The authority citation for part 76 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 153, 154, 301, 302, 302a, 303, 
303a, 307, 308, 309, 312, 315, 317, 325, 338, 339, 340, 341, 503, 
521, 522, 531, 532, 534, 535, 536, 537, 543, 544, 544a, 545, 548, 
549, 552, 554, 556, 558, 560, 561, 571, 572, 573.


0
14. Amend Sec.  76.56 by adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  76.56  Signal carriage obligations.

* * * * *
    (h) Next Gen TV carriage rights. (1) A broadcast television station 
that chooses to deploy Next Gen TV service, see Sec.  73.682(f) of this 
chapter, may assert mandatory carriage rights under this section only 
with respect to its ATSC 1.0 signal and may not assert mandatory 
carriage rights with respect to its ATSC 3.0 signal.
    (2) With respect to a Next Gen TV station that moves its 1.0 
simulcast signal to a host station's (i.e., a station whose facilities 
are being used to transmit programming originated by another station) 
facilities, the station may assert mandatory carriage rights under this 
section only if it:
    (i) Qualified for, and has been exercising, mandatory carriage 
rights at its original location; and
    (ii) Continues to qualify for mandatory carriage at the host 
station's facilities, including (but not limited to) delivering a good 
quality 1.0 signal to the cable system principal headend, or agreeing 
to be responsible for the costs of delivering such 1.0 signal to the 
cable system.

0
15. Amend Sec.  76.66 by adding paragraph (o) to read as follows:


Sec.  76.66   Satellite broadcast signal carriage.

* * * * *
    (o) Next Gen TV carriage rights. (1) A broadcast television station 
that chooses to deploy Next Gen TV service, see Sec.  73.682(f) of this 
chapter, may assert mandatory carriage rights under this section only 
with respect to its ATSC 1.0 signal and may not assert mandatory 
carriage rights with respect to its ATSC 3.0 signal.
    (2) With respect to a Next Gen TV station that moves its 1.0 
simulcast signal to a host station's (i.e., a station whose facilities 
are being used to transmit programming originated by another station) 
facilities, the station may assert mandatory carriage rights under this 
section only if it:
    (i) Qualified for, and has been exercising, mandatory carriage 
rights at its original location; and
    (ii) Continues to qualify for mandatory carriage at the host 
station's facilities, including (but not limited to) delivering a good 
quality 1.0 signal to the satellite carrier local receive facility, or 
agreeing to be responsible for the costs of delivering such 1.0 signal 
to the satellite carrier.

[FR Doc. 2018-01473 Filed 2-1-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6712-01-P