Published June 2016

The FCC’s proposal to “unlock the box” would stop cable companies from forcing their customers to pay rental fees for set-top boxes, which average $231 per household per year. Instead, cable companies would be required to also support third-party devices, such as TiVo and Roku. The proposal has received ample support from the public, device makers, independent and minority programmers, civil rights groups, copyright experts, content creators, members of Congress, and President Obama.

But members of Congress supported by the cable industry snuck in an unnecessary rider to a must-pass government funding bill that will require the FCC to conduct additional studies on the proposal. This is simply a delay tactic from incumbents who want to maintain their stranglehold on the market.

Congress instructed the FCC to reform the video marketplace 20 years ago, and the FCC has been working hard to do so. After multiple rounds of public comments on the proposal, the Commissioners are thoroughly examining and addressing the concerns of all stakeholders, and are preparing to move forward with a solution.

Consumers will pay at least $1.6 billion per month while we wait on unnecessary delays by Congress–and we’ve been keeping track of every second we wait. 

Contact the key Senators listed below and tell them to put a stop to this rider and eliminate the language in the Appropriations bill that will delay #UnlockTheBox. We will update the list as developments arise. Then type your ZIP code in the tool at the bottom of this page to get the contact information for your representatives in Congress and a script to let them know you are ready for choice and competition in the video marketplace, without delay. The necessary processes have been completed, and it’s time for the FCC to #UnlockTheBox.

Contact Sen. BoozmanContact Sen. CochranContact Sen. Durbin
Contact Sen. LeahyContact Sen. McConnellContact Sen. Merkley
Contact Sen. MikulskiContact Sen. NelsonContact Sen. Reid
Contact Sen. SchatzContact Sen. SchumerContact Sen. Thune
Contact your representatives and bring their attention to this important issue!

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