FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Pokes Hornet’s Nest As Cable Industry Torches Cable Box Proposal

It’s hard to believe that anyone in the United States expects the cable industry to react quickly to anything; be it customer complaints, innovation, or even something as simple as showing up on time for a scheduled service appointments. However, if you threaten a steady revenue stream for America’s cable giants, there’s sure to be a swift

Sourced through Scoop.it from: hothardware.com

As you might expect, the cable industry is fuming mad and issued lightning quick retorts to the proposal. According to the cable industry: 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. — Mark Hess, Comcast SVP, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Business and Industry Affairs.  Customers that want to keep the status quo and rent a cable box could still do so if they wish. In essence, it would be similar to what’s possible now with Internet service provided by cable companies — you can either rent a cable modem or purchase your own and save on monthly rental fees. The only difference between the FCC proposal and the cable companies offering is that you’d pay a relatively low, one-time cost for the hardware (which would pay for itself in roughly a year if we take into account monthly cable box rental fees) instead of paying the same $7.43 monthly (a fee that has risen 185 percent in the past twenty years) for the rest of your life.  FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is showing a rather icy resolve to this blowback from the cable industry and exhibits no signs of melting under pressure. He hit back hard, saying the FCC proposal is “all about whether the standard for set-top boxes should be a closed standard or an open standard.  “99% of pay-TV customers lease set-top boxes from there cable, satellite, or telco providers. There is no competitive market.” Wheeler went on to reiterate that the cost of cable box hardware and rental fees have skyrocketed while the price of other consumer electronics (like PCs and smartphones) have decreased by 90 percent during the same time period.  – Me thinks the Cable Companies doth protest too much

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