GOP Asks New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai To Terminate Plan To Save Cable TV Customers Money
Any hopes of passage of the Democratic plan to save cable TV customers money from paying rental fees on set-top boxes are lost since the Federal Communications Commission switched to Republican control, under Chairman Ajit Pai.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Position
According to Ars Technica, GOP lawmakers have asked new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to close the proceeding on Democrat plan to regulate rental fees for cable TV boxes. This makes the death of the Democrat plan official.
House Republicans House Republicans wrote to Pai on Wednesday, Jan. 25 that video programming distributors, consumer electronics manufacturers, content producers, and the consumer should be informed that the Commission's consideration of the set-top box proposal has reached its end. The letter has been signed by nineteen Republican representatives, led by the chair and vice chair of the Commerce Committee Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas), as well as the chair and vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Leonard Lance (R-N.J.).
Previous Democrat Position
Tom Wheeler, the Democrat former FCC Chairman, started the set-top box effort more than a year ago, aiming to save customers money on cable box rentals. According to the original plan, pay-TV providers would be required to make video programming available to the software developers and makers of third-party devices without the need for a CableCard. Wheeler hoped that device and app makers would offer some cheaper alternatives to the set-top boxes that require paying high monthly fees.
Top cable companies such as Comcast pushed an alternative proposal and lobbied against the plan. According to the cable industry proposal, cable companies would be required to develop their own video applications for third-party set-top boxes. Wheeler accepted the basic outline of this proposal, introducing some changes. He wanted the industry to use a standard license and asked that the cable company apps must include the same recording functionality that is provided in rented set-top boxes.
Because of the changes implemented to the cable industry proposal, Republican FCC commissioners, Republican lawmakers, cable companies and programmers continued opposing the plan. Consumers would have been guaranteed, in case that the FCC had passed the modified plan, that cable company video apps would work on streaming boxes like the Roku and Apple TV and Roku, or anything running Android, Windows or iOS.
Congressional Democrats have lost their fight for set-top box reform. Wheeler wasn't able to get enough votes in the commission despite having a 3-2 Democratic majority. One of the reasons for the failure of his plan was the fact that Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel withheld support. When Democrat Hillary Clinton lost in the presidential election to Republican Donald Trump, it was the final blow to the set-top box plan.
Consumer advocacy groups are not happy with the turn of the events. For instance, consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge urged Pai to ensure that consumers can choose from a competitive market, as granted by Section 629 of the Communications Act. According to the website xfinity.com, Comcast and other pay-TV companies provide some video streaming apps but their deployment is still uneven across devices and cable companies.
How Today's Net Neutrality Could Be Reshaped By President Trump
Net neutrality's future is uncertain under President Donald Trump.
FCC Updates Rules For Internet Business Connections
The Federal Communications Commission prepared a new proposal for updated rules regulating internet broadband for business connections.
FCC Changes Its Initial Cable Box Plan In Favor Of Pushing Cable Companies Develop New Apps
The Federal Communications Commission redesigns its cable box plan.
Net Neutrality's Death Official As FCC Votes To Overturn It
The FCC led by Ajit Pai voted to eliminate the net neutrality rules sparking fear and rage over the end of the open internet.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Reads Mean Tweets Then Mocks His Haters
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai did his own version of "Mean Tweets" and the result was not funny, at least to his many haters.
MORE IN ITECHPOST
William English, the man who co-invented the first computer mouse, passes away at 91
The man who co-invented the world's first computer mouse has passed away at the age of 91.
2 NASA astronauts are home from ISS, proving SpaceX can safely bring people to and from space
After a two-month mission, SpaceX brings back home 2 astronauts, proving that it could transport people to and from space safely.
Something is Surely Brewing Within Destiny 2
How are you keeping on? There's a whole lot of content in the game and even though some of it is going away, the great variety won't go anywhere. On top of that, new stuff will be added and the huge add-on announced not that long ago kind of gives you hint about that. If you've played this game long enough, then you know you can't have everything, but what if there was a way? Of course, we're talking about Destiny 2 boosting. But it's not just good for herding some items. Our services can be used for any in-game goal, small or big.