FCC Acts to Ensure that Public Television Stations Have Flexibility to Transition to ATSC 3.0

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 17, 2020 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) commend the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its adoption of an ATSC 3.0 simulcast presumptive waiver process for public television stations that have no viable local simulcasting partner. 
This action was requested in a filing in the matter of Authorizing Permissive Use of the "Next Generation" Broadcast Television Standard by APTS, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“Public television stations are charged with the mission to serve all Americans, including in rural and remote communities,” said Lonna Thompson, executive vice president and general counsel of APTS. 

“As a result, many public television stations are located in areas where it may be challenging or impossible to find a simulcasting partner. America’s Public Television Stations are grateful for the action taken yesterday by the FCC to provide a presumptive waiver to the local simulcasting requirements for television stations located in markets that have fewer than three potential full power simulcasting partners that cover the stations’ entire communities of license.
“By recognizing the enormous challenges some public television stations would face in finding simulcasting partners, particularly those with transmitters located in remote, often isolated areas, the FCC is ensuring that these stations have the flexibility to pursue the public service benefits of ATSC 3.0 in a way that best serves their local communities and ensures that their viewers have access to the one-of-a-kind services in education, public safety and civic leadership provided by local public television stations as they transition to Next Gen TV.

“Public television stations have a statutory mandate to serve all citizens of the United States, and will only transition to the Next Gen TV standard after ensuring that their viewers will not be left behind,” Thompson said. 


About APTS
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.

Stacey Karp