FCC will vote on viewer-tracking broadcast standard this week

From Engadget - November 14, 2017

Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC commissioner, does not think the current plan for the Next Gen TV rollout is adequate and has urged the FCC to start over, Broadcasting & Cable reports. She says that unlike the digital TV transition that occurred in 2009, the current Next Gen TV transition plan does not have a congressional mandate, any subsidies for new equipment that will be required with the new standard and no test market. In a speech given at the Open Technology Institute, she said, "Before we authorize billions for patent holders and saddle consumers with the bills, we better understand how these rights holders will not take advantage of the special status conferred upon them by the FCC."

Further, in a comment on the FCC's proposal, the Consumers Union, Public Knowledge and New America's Open Technology Institute said, "We agree with the comments filed by the original Petitioners that the Next Gen TV standard potentially offers 'compelling public interest benefits, including stunning video and more immersive audio, as well as the opportunity for revolutionary features that will significantly enhance the viewing experience.' But achieving those benefits should not come at the expense of consumers, which could occur if the transition to ATSC 3.0 is approved by the Commission without adoption of appropriate, common sense safeguards." It also said, "Consumers are being asked to take a leap of faith without the benefit of a regulatory safety net."


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