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Congressman sends letter to FCC opposing set-top box proposal

• May 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), along with Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Collin Peterson (D-MN), sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler urging the Commission to re-examine their set-top box proposal and to reconsider its implications on small and rural pay-TV providers.

“Our bipartisan letter recognizes the efforts of the FCC to support a competitive environment for video competition, but disagrees with their approach,” Latta said. “The Commission’s set-top box proposal is a technical mandate that will obstruct the future of pay-TV by having programmers retrofit their systems to comply with a new standard that doesn’t yet exist. Not only would a new standard likely take years to develop, slowing and stifling innovation, but it would also be costly to reconfigure systems, especially for small and rural providers.

“Furthermore, the marketplace continues to prove that this proposal is obsolete. This is evident by Comcast’s recent announcement to launch an apps based program to allow their customers to access their video programming through a range of retail devices without having to lease a set-top box. Pro-consumer initiatives such as this looks towards the future of technology rather than taking a backwards approach like the FCC’s proposal.

“I hope this letter will convince the Commission not to move forward on the set-top box proceeding and reconsider the proposed rule, including the impacts it would have on small providers and consumers alike.”

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