back to article FCC starts running from cable box rip-off kill-off

Twenty billion dollars is a lot of incentive, as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has found out. Following a proposal in January, later approved by three of the five FCC Commissioners, cable companies would be obliged to let third parties produce set-top boxes by making subscriber and channel information …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Ah... nice to see that Congress is still playing "let's follow the party line and never, ever compromise" game. In many ways, a deadlocked Congress is a good thing. In some ways, bad.

    I would hope that those CongressCritters up for re-election will be given a second look by the voters to see if that's who they really, really want in office again. I daresay that this is time for statesmanship and compromise in Congress and not game playing.

  2. jonnycando

    I've got a thought

    Those set top boxes are a money center. Even if the cable providers are required to let us use any box we want, they will just jack up the rates, and still make the money.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Pyrrhic victory

    Doesn't matter. Cable TV is a burning platform :)

  4. Dale Loyd

    Bring back ClearQAM then...

    If the FCC can't get rid of cable boxes, at least give us back local OTA channels as unencrypted HD ClearQAM channels, reversing their own 2012 decision that removed them after Comcast's lobbying. That at least gives some SMALL consideration back to the public. I live outside of Chattanooga in a hilly area, so antennas can be hit-and-miss. The basic cable "service" ($10-20 in my area) includes a cruddy little Comcast QAM box that only outputs SD over an RF connection.

  5. ma1010

    Forget it

    You can't beat the kind of money and power the cable/internet provider oligopoly have. They've managed to stop most bids to compete, whether they come from non-member companies or even government entities. Here and there one can find bright spots, a few places where there actually is a little competition and accordingly lower rates and better service like we all should have access to. But for most of us in the US, choosing a provider is like getting to select whether you get raped by the guy in the blue hat or the yellow hat -- either way you get raped.

    And there's pretty much nothing anyone can do to fix it. Regardless of who wins any elections, Congress will stay bought and paid for, so even a president willing to try couldn't fix this mess. The FCC is already backpedaling on this one, and remember, Congress can trump the FCC anytime. Watch for a "bi-partisan" (meaning both parties have been compensated by the oligopoly) movement to quash anything serious the FCC does.

    Cynical? Moi? Never!

  6. unitron

    So the cable industry solution is....

    If you're tired of having to pay extra to "de-crypt" the channels for which you are paying so that you can watch them on your television, the cable industry's solution is you can also pay for fast enough internet service to let you watch them on a smaller screen on some other device.

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