In a letter to Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler affirmed his commitment to a workable industry-wide set-top box standard to replace the system removed by Congress in the satellite television reauthorization bill STELAR. Public Knowledge applauds the Chairman for his commitment to leading the charge on consumer protections and choice in the video device marketplace.
Today the House of Representatives passed satellite legislation that includes a cable giveaway that harms the set-top box market by voice vote. The STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014, the new House counterpart to the Senate’s STAVRA bill, contains a provision that could drive up cable prices, reduce consumer choice and impede video innovation. Public Knowledge urges the Senate to reject this approach or adopt the Markey amendment, which preserves the opportunity for competition in the set-top box market -- and consumer choice.
Today, Public Knowledge and other public advocacy groups sent letters to all 100 senators urging them to either fix provisions harmful to consumers in the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act (STAVRA) or refrain from passing the bill at all. Each letter explains that language removing current Federal Communications Commission rules around set-top boxes will harm competition in the video device market, and potentially hurt future innovation in video devices and systems.