FCC Chariman Tom Wheeler just followed through on a congressional order to outline new rules for set-top boxes.
Currently, Americans spend approximately $20 billion a year on fees for these box rentals. The majority of that cash is pure profit for the cable companies and an annual loss of $231 for each household forced to rent a box.
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Options are good for consumers, but cable monopolies all but ensure that the typical household is renting a set-top box from the cable company. Why? Because they’re forced to.
The proposal outlines a desire to “create a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers and developers” a platform to work on.
In essence, the FCC wants the cable companies to allow integration from third-party developers to extend the functionality of these boxes, as well as ensuring seamless integration with mobile devices and the ability to surface more content from independent creators.