Post

Unlocking the Box Will Benefit Rural America

September 14, 2016 FCC , Set-Top Box , Video Competition , Video Marketplace

The Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to unlock the box will benefit all pay-TV viewers, but particularly rural Americans, who often rely heavily on pay-TV subscriptions for information and entertainment. Where they live, broadband may be unavailable or slow, and over-the-air TV may be hard to tune in. Under the proposal that FCC Chairman Wheeler has circulated to the other four Commissioners, rural Americans will save money on device rental fees and benefit from an upgrade to their viewing experience.

Read More
Post

#UnlockTheBox: It’s Now Or Never

September 12, 2016 FCC , Set-Top Box , Unlock the Box , Video Competition , Video Marketplace

Every time I tell people about the Federal Communications Commission’s #UnlockTheBox proceeding, the reaction is always the same: It’s a no-brainer. They burst into rants about how much they hate the boxes, that they hate paying so much, and that they can’t understand why someone hasn’t done something about this cable box rip-off that results in such a lackluster product and poor service. Even as they thank heaven, the FCC, and consumer advocates for their efforts to actually fix this, they ask why it hasn’t been done sooner. It’s getting ridiculous.

Read More
Post

Moving Beyond the Cable Box

July 22, 2016 FCC , Unlock the Box , Video Marketplace

Some critics of the Federal Communications Commission’s “Unlock the Box” proposal have suggested that the FCC ought to pursue a “no box” approach–that is, some kind of policy (or hands-off approach) that would let customers do away with the set-top box entirely, relying on apps instead, rather than introducing new competition in the set-top box market. The proposal put forward by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, AT&T, and others even calls itself “Ditch the Box.”

Read More
Post

FCC Must Proceed: Don’t Let Congress Stop the Clock on Unlocking the Box

June 15, 2016 FCC , Legislation , Set-Top Boxes , Unlock the Box , Video Marketplace

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.

Read More
Post

Cable Company Practices Indicate a Need for Increased Enforcement of Consumer Privacy Laws

June 8, 2016 Consumer Privacy , FCC , FTC , Privacy , Video Marketplace

In March of this year, the Center for Digital Democracy released a comprehensive report outlining the increasing use of subscriber data by Internet Service Providers and video providers. The report details the common practices of cable operators gathering their customers’ personal information, sharing and combining that information with third parties, and using it to target customers for advertising on an individual level.

Read More