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Today, Public Knowledge, Consumers Union, and the Free Press Action Fund sent a joint letter to Senators Rockefeller and Thune, expressing concern over the lack of consumer protection in the STAVRA Legislation.
The following can be attributed to Chris Lewis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Public Knowledge:
"STAVRA is an important piece of must-pass legislation, but it should not make it through Congress with provisions that harm consumers, limit innovation, and reduce consumers' choices for set-top boxes and other video devices.
"Since 1996, Congress has made it clear that consumers should have the option to buy their own set-top boxes if they don't wish to pay the increasingly high costs to rent them from their cable provider. As written, STAVRA would eliminate this important consumer protection. It is curious why this language, straight out of the cable industry wish list, is even included in a must-pass bill about satellite TV.
"This provision is not necessary, but fixing it is simple: Congress should direct the FCC to set a new technological standard for keeping competitive video devices, before eliminating the old rules. We understand that Senator Markey plans to introduce a simple amendment to STAVRA that will ensure consumer choices in the video device market. We support that amendment."
The letter can be found here.