CCIA Files FCC Comments On TV Set-Top Boxes

BY Heather Greenfield
May 24, 2016

Washington — Late Monday night was the deadline to file comments to the FCC as it prepares to make a decision on whether to unlock the control that the cable industry has over TV set-top boxes. The FCC recently voted to invite public comments on a proposal that would ensure that third-party set-top box makers can continue to access multichannel video programming.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which has advocated for open, competitive markets for more than 40 years, has applauded this FCC initiative in previous comments and in reply comments filed Monday night. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We are not still using black rotary dial phones because the FCC decided almost 50 years ago that consumers should have a choice — not the incumbents. Opening the telephone market to competition was the right decision then, and it’s the right decision for set-top boxes now. Unlocking the set-top box will bring competition, and consumers will see lower prices and better devices to access TV.

“It’s always a challenge to envision the innovation that can occur when industry incumbents can’t block competition. But it’s easy to see that while phones have evolved into mobile Internet devices, cable’s set-top boxes look about the same as they did 20 years when Congress mandated that the FCC support set-top box competition. Cable has had little incentive to innovate. Now that it’s about to change, they’re trying every argument they can — hoping something will stick — as they try to hold off competition. We believe the FCC can and should stand up to this pressure and do the right thing for consumers and innovation.”

For more information contact Communications Director Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org +1 202-256-5610

 

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