Tags: fcc | set-top | boxes | rule

FCC's Set-Top Boxes Rule to Force Cable Delivery Onto Apps

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By    |   Friday, 09 Sep 2016 11:46 AM

An FCC set-top boxes rule promises to shake up the way cable television is delivered to viewers by forcing cable operators to make their service accessible on apps running on most digital devices.

The new Federal Communications Commision rule will “free consumers from set-top box rental fees,” said CNET, and give them cable programming via apps and devices like “Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, smart TVs, or iOS and Android phones or tablets.”

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler revealed the proposed rule for set-top boxes in a blog post and said it will be voted on by the commission on Sept. 29.

“If adopted, these consumer-first rules would pave the way for a competitive marketplace for new devices that enhance the TV-watching experience,” Wheeler said. “Bottom line: consumers will no longer have to rent a set-top box just to watch the programming they already pay for.”

Wheeler said when it comes to set-top boxes and paid TV subscriptions “we have essentially no options,” per The Los Angeles Times.

“Ninety-nine percent of pay-TV subscribers currently lease set-top boxes from their cable, satellite or telecommunications provider, paying an average of $231 a year for the privilege, according to a recent analysis,” Wheeler said. “The collective tab is $20 billion annually in rental fees…We keep paying these charges even after the cost of the box has been recovered because we have no meaningful alternative.”

“Consumers have been waiting for 20 years for a truly competitive and robust set-top box marketplace that puts an end to exorbitant cable box rental fees, and the FCC’s order represents the dawn of a new era,” said Sen. Ed Markey who helped write the 1996 Telecommunications Act. “The FCC is using authority clearly provided by Congress to better allow consumers to choose which device to watch programming for which they have already paid.”

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An FCC set-top boxes rule promises to shake up the way cable television is delivered to viewers by forcing cable operators to make their service accessible on apps running on most digital devices.
fcc, set-top, boxes, rule
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2016-46-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 11:46 AM
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