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FCC Grants Experimental TV License To MSU, WKAR

Elkins, O'Rielly and David photo
Amanda Pinckney
FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly (center) with WKAR General Manager Susi Elkins and MSU College of Communication Arts and Science Dean Prabu David.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted Michigan State University and WKAR Public Media a special license to launch an experimental Next Generation TV broadcasting station.

It’s called ATSC 3.0.

Proponents describe ATSC 3.0 as a merger of the capabilities of over-the-air broadcasting and the internet, capable of delivering content to cars and mobile devices along with the home.

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly visited WKAR for the announcement today. “We have, at the FCC, authorized the new broadcast standard," states O'Rielly, "and it's going to open up the doors to what television may be in the future.”

WKAR is the first public broadcaster in the U.S. to receive this authorization from the Federal Communications Commission.

MSU will open the NextGen Media Innovation Lab alongside the WKAR studios to research the potential of ATSC 3.0.

The service will be voluntary and market driven, in contrast with the mandatory conversion from analog to digital television in 2009.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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