On October 3, 2019, America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) and The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a Joint Petition for Rulemaking (“Petition”) asking the Commission to amend section 76.626 of the Commission’s rules relating to Distributed Transmission Systems (“DTS”), also known as single frequency networks. More specifically, the Petition asks the Commission to “amend its methodology for determining DTS service limits while preserving the current interference requirements.” The Petition states that, “[a]s they plan to roll out ATSC 3.0 deployments, many broadcasters are interested in exploring the advanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0 to facilitate the use of DTS. The Joint Petition further asserts that “ATSC 3.0 permits a simplified design for single frequency networks that makes the deployment of such networks significantly more cost effective. However, the Commission’s current DTS rules limit broadcasters’ ability to deploy additional transmitters near the edge of a station’s coverage area, hampering the deployment of such networks.” Accordingly, the Petition alleges that updating the Commission’s DTS rules to remove these limitations would enable stations to improve service throughout their coverage area (particularly near the edge of the coverage area), improve mobile reception, and improve spectrum efficiency (by reducing the need for television translators using separate channels). The Petition is available electronically through the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) under the above-referenced docket numbers, which may be accessed on the Commission’s Internet website at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/ . Please see Public Notice for full details.
Posted: October 11, 2019