ATBA Board Member Robert Folliard Sees Hope for Rural Areas Thanks to ATSC 3.0

Robert Folliard, ATBA Board member and VP of Government Relations and Distribution at Gray Television Inc., sees hope for rural areas thanks to ATSC 3.0 and Low Power Television Stations. The on-going spectrum auction has forced LPTV to change channels, in many cases, and upgrade their equipment, which gives LPTV a chance to begin their shift to ATSC 3.0 and, ultimately, have an advantage over full-power stations.

With over 15 years in the broadcast industry, it is not a surprise that Folliard sees the positive effects that LPTV has on the broadcast industry and with LPTV using the new standard.

“By building out an LPTV in ATSC 3.0, it allows a full power broadcaster to maintain its existing ATSC 1.0 operation: no disruption to existing operations and no viewers left behind,” said Folliard. “Meanwhile, the LPTV can begin providing 3.0 services to create demand for consumers and convince consumer equipment manufacturers to include ATSC 3.0 chips in new sets, set-top boxes, and other equipment.”

The new standard of television will allow for the use of OTA signals, as well as in-home broadband, to allow Ultra HD 4K TV, higher dynamic range, more effective emergency signals, in addition to broadcasting directly to your vehicle.

There are FCC regulations in place that authorize LPTV stations to go ahead and switch to ATSC 3.0. This gives LPTV an advantage over FPTV since full-power stations cannot switch to the new standard as quickly due to the complications it would cause with broadcasting to consumers.

“It would be economic suicide to convert Full Power stations when we are not completely ready, so LPTV is a good transition into ATSC 3.0,” said Folliard. 

In the past, consumers in rural areas relied on LPTV for their news and entertainment, but had a limited selection of programs to choose from. With ATSC 3.0, those limitations will be no more. 

“Especially in small, rural markets, there is historically not enough Full Power to accommodate, so we use LPTV to fill those gaps,” said Folliard. “Viewers [in rural areas] can now get Monday Night Football, when historically they wouldn’t have been able to.”

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance