I think some may be ignoring what that means in the short term. With so much talk of combining and the players that haven't already combined sporting 1080i feeds, who will have to cut back to 720p or even 480i to "cooperate"?Yes, finding frequencies to broadcast on in the more crowded markets will require spectrum sharing cooperation between competing broadcasters. I don't think anyone denies that.
I'm not convinced that ATSC 3.0 is all that far along. There are quite a few of the underpinnings done but video is still open and that is critical to delivering television. The terms used by Chairman Friedel were "virtually all are essentially done". Sounds to me like double-talk. A/300 itself (the ATSC 3.0 standard) is in Candidate Standard status until the end of July and A/341 was advanced to balloting as a Proposed Standard just five days ago. If the usual track from Proposed to Candidate to Adopted Standard is followed, I'd be surprised if they ratify the video standard portion by September. MPEG-H sound that will be used outside of the US was approved just four days ago. AC-4 sound has been approved for less than two weeks.As far as all of the ATSC 3.0 standards not yet being finalized, that's true, although most are, and I expect the remaining ones will be finalized by late this year when the FCC will give broadcasters the green light to begin commercial broadcasts in 3.0.
Even if the broadcasters are given the green light, they won't be able to sunset the DTV channels for years and there will be a few years where inertia demands that they maintain their DTV feeds in HD. While all of this is happening, what's in it for us in terms of advanced sound and video? How can networks "share" a UHD station where there an be only one channel?