As we speak, House and Senate Republicans on the Appropriations Committees are trying to attach a number of inappropriate legislative policy riders added on to important appropriations bills for 2017. One rider in particular takes direct aim at the Federal Communication Commission’s ongoing proceeding to “unlock the box.” That proceeding would unburden consumers of hundreds of dollars in annual rental fees for their cable boxes, open up the market for new choices as to how they access the content of their choosing, and lower barriers to entry for innovative technologists and for diverse and independent content creators.
Did you hear the one about the new technology that was going to run amok, squashing creativity, gobbling up every copyrighted work in its path, and redistributing it for free to all of the masses until nothing remained but scorched earth and abandoned studios across Hollywood?
PK Vice President of Government Affairs Chris Lewis joins Meredith Whipple to talk about the #UnlockTheBox campaign and what we can expect ahead for the set-top box marketplace from the Federal Communications Commission.
It’s no small secret that America loves a saga. And in the battle for real consumer video choice, we’re just getting started. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a huge step towards loosening cable’s chokehold on consumers in the name of more choices and more innovation. It voted 3-2 in favor of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (an “NPRM,” to those in The Biz) for new digital cable box standards that would allow customers to access their programming subscriptions through devices other than those they currently lease directly from their cable company.
Imagine what the smartphone industry would look like if 99% of people used phones designed and sold by their carriers, instead of by companies like Samsung, Apple, and Motorola. You don't need to imagine too hard, though, since we have a pretty good idea already: they'd be as hard to use, ugly, expensive and outdated as cable set-top boxes, a market where 99% of users rent devices provided by their cable operators.