The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should move quickly to help consumers have more choice in the devices they hook up to their TV sets to watch programming they get from cable or other providers, Public Knowledge and New America Foundation told the FCC in a filing Tuesday.
The text of the filing is here.
The Commission’s proposal for a video “gateway” to home devices that could be used by any video provider closely follows a petition for a rulemaking on the issued filed Dec. 18, 2009 by Public Knowledge, Free Press, Media Access Project, Consumers Union, CCTV Center for Media & Democracy, and the Open Technology Initiative of New America. The FCC termed the inclusive connectivity, “AllVid,” and made it a key recommendation in the National Broadband Plan. The comments filed today were in response to a Notice of Inquiry (NoI) on how the AllVid proposal could be implemented as a replacement for the current CableCARD regime which uses depends on specific devices for specific providers. In contrast, AllVid provides a “superior, networking-based approach.”
The technology for AllVid “already exists, as demonstrated by the many devices that offer similar functionality,” PK and New America said, arguing that, “barriers to AllVid are not technological or economic, but behavioral. With CableCARD, the Commission learned that technical barriers do not stand in the way of video device competition—artificial barriers to entry built by incumbents who benefit from the status quo do. Those who are comfortable with the current uncompetitive regime do what they can to keep it in place. Despite the presence in the market of appropriate technology and willing buyers, MVPDs have consistently attempted to keep ‘foreign devices’ from their networks.”
PK and New America said the Commission should draw up AllVid rules that allow for device competition while guarding against anti-competitive practices such as making certain cable or satellite companies do not give their own devices an unfair advantage by subsidizing them with general revenue or subscription fees.”
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