Another FCC Overreach that Hurts Consumers

Plan for TV Set-Top Boxes is Government at its Worst

While the FCC presses forward with its narrow minded and backwards looking ‘unlock the box’ plan to supposedly create competition for video devices, the market is hard at work actually delivering new products and choices to consumers.  The FCC claims that consumers lack choice for video devices, and yet conveniently overlooks that the many options that have sprung up, including TiVo, Roku, and Apple TV.  

Interestingly, Comcast today announced new app-based service options that gives viewers across its entire customer base the choice of retail navigation devices (including “boxless” smart TVs), which exposes the absurdity of the FCC’s desire to take over a market that continues to prove itself to be strong.

The reality is that the FCC’s proposed new set top box regulation will drive up consumer bills, limit diversity and choice on television, and weaken privacy protections for consumers’ personal decisions on what to watch.  It represents the worst instincts of government: picking winners and losers in the market and punishing innovators and first movers for their success.

And now we know it is completely unnecessary as well—as the market is already delivering the kind of competitive choice and options that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler claims is the point of his new rule.