The recent Internet Day of Action for net neutrality illustrates how intensely consumers feel about net neutrality protections, as more than 50,000 people, websites, and organizations demonstrated in favor of a free and open internet. Many Internet Service Providers claim that they, too, want net neutrality, but with one exception: they don’t want any rules that can be enforced against them. Asking giant internet providers like Comcast to behave is, quite frankly, implausible given their history of anti-competitive behavior.
Tired of skyrocketing cable bills and paying for an old set-top box you don’t need? The FCC has a plan to help consumers save $231 dollars a year and bring more competition. 84 percent of consumers say cable prices are too high, and the FCC’s #UnlockTheBox plan offers them real relief.
Today, eight rural advocacy organizations filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission in support of Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to open up the set-top box market for consumers. The letter emphasizes the importance of competition and choice from cable and satellite providers for rural communities, which often have limited access to to over-the-air broadcasters and broadband access.
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?