FCC Sticks It To Cable Companies

FCC Sticks It To Cable Companies!!!

Cable Companies Must Unlock the Cable Boxes They Make Huge Profits From

Official statement from Chairman of the FCC:

"Ninety-nine percent of pay-TV subscribers are chained to their set-top boxes because cable and satellite operators have locked up the market. Lack of competition has meant few choices and high prices for consumers – on average, $231 in rental fees annually for the average American household. Altogether, U.S. consumers spend $20 billion a year to lease these devices. Since 1994, according to a recent analysis, the cost of cable set-top boxes has risen 185 percent while the cost of computers, televisions and mobile phones has dropped by 90 percent.

Related: Comcast Tries to Fix Their Image

A newly released proposal by the FFC is requiring cable and satellite companies to unlock their set-top boxes. These are also known as satellite receivers, cable boxes are used to deliver OTT (Over-the-Top) content. They are typically rented to cable TV subscribers for a monthly fee.

Unlike streaming TV boxes you can buy from Apple, Roku, Sony, Google and others which are free after the initial purchase price.

This new proposal which will be voted on Feb. 18, 2016 could mean a big change for cable TV providers and a huge win for TV subscribers.

What This Really Means for Cable and Satellite Subscribers

If this proposal passes it means you will no longer be required to rent an ugly cable box to receive cable TV content. Instead you can use your Roku, other streamers and even Smart TVs to watch their programming directly after a software update. This is a good thing as cable TV boxes are really pretty ugly. It will be nice to have less components sucking electricity and taking up space in our homes. Not to mention the added box rental fees for each TV which can really add up over the years.

You can bet that cable companies will fight the FCC’s proposal with all their lobbying money. If this passes, providers stand to lose billions in revenue from leasing their cable boxes. You can bet they won't just sit idly by and increased monthly fees for their subscribers will be their next move to try and recover lost profits.

If they choose to do this, it may drive even more of their subscribers to cutting the cord and choosing streaming as an alternative. Especially if they already have a Roku and once they see all these Roku Channels available.

Here is What Big Cable Companies Have to Say About the FCC’s Proposal:

"On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a new technology mandate that would require satellite and cable TV providers to disaggregate or separate their services so that a few companies could repackage them as their own without negotiating for content rights like everybody else in the market does today. While the Chairman touts consumer benefits to his proposal, the opposite is the case.

The proposal, like prior federal government technology mandates, would impose costs on consumers, adversely impact the creation of high-quality content, and chill innovation. It also flies in the face of the rapid changes that are occurring in the marketplace and benefitting consumers."

Other critics of the FCC proposal said this is something that is not needed since cable companies will be forced to innovate to keep up with consumers’ wants. For instance, Charter Communications offers subscribers the ability to stream TV through a Roku App, reports The New York Times.

A NYT article also quoted, Nomi Bergman, president of cable provider Bright House Networks “It’s the ultimate example of the government trying to fix something that isn’t broken,”.

What's your opinion should this be done or not? Make your voices heard, Contact the FCC and let them know before the Feb 18, deadline. On their site, Click File Complaint under the TV icon.