Imagine receiving a text from a friend on a landline phone, or take a selfie on an old disposable camera. It can be done, but you somehow feel like there should be a better technology for this. Luckily for consumers, technological innovation naturally enables solutions to consumer frustrations. Except in the case of Cable’s ancient set-top box.
Members of Congress adding unnecessary policy language or amendments, known as “riders,” to government appropriations bills is nothing new; it is a well-known tactic for getting controversial policies passed. Appropriations bills provide funding to government agencies, so they must be passed by Congress in order to keep everything moving. Some members of Congress use this as a loophole to try to sneak in language or amendments that will hurt existing policies and agencies.
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.