Compromising on the FCC Set-Top-Box Proposal Is a Mistake

| September 28, 2016

Compromising on the FCC Set-Top-Box Proposal Is a Mistake
The final vote on the FCC Proposal to unlock the Set-Top Box is coming up on September 29th. Issued in January of this year, the proposal would require cable and satellite TV operators to let subscribers choose their preferred device, commonly known as a set-top box (STB), to access paid-TV programming. Opening up the STB market would drive innovation in the space, creating opportunities for companies, existing and new, to reimagine how content is found, accessed and consumed. Beyond content consumption, this could also open up the possibility of reimaging the advertising and monetization models within the industry. With the vote quickly approaching, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has responded with an alternative proposal that modifies the FCC's original one materially. FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, initially proposed open standards for set-top boxes, allowing companies to directly access video content and reimagine how that content is presented. The revised proposal grants device makers the ability to integrate cable companies' (commonly known as Multiple Video Programming Distributors or MVPDs) apps into their devices. These MVPD-provided apps could then be run on a device of the consumer's choice.

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