FCC delay on pay-TV set-top box competition stings

While companies lobby against the rule, consumers keep paying leasing fees

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Washington, DC – Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action, released this statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) removed the set-top box order from its September Open Meeting agenda. The Commission had been scheduled to vote on the proposal today to allow consumers to view their pay-TV content on devices of their choosing and avoid monthly rental fees.

"The FCC's delay is disappointing to say the least. As big corporations spend monster bucks to block the FCC plan to open pay-TV boxes to competition by third-party developers, consumers are the continued losers—to the tune of about $20 billion, with a B, every year. A Congressional investigation last year found that the average household spends nearly $232 annually to lease pay-TV set-top boxes. The investigation also found that 99 percent of pay-TV customers rent their set-top box from the provider and that these fees may be add up to more than $19.5 billion per year. Consumer Action urges the Commission to complete this rulemaking as soon as possible and free consumers from one more unfair assault on their pocketbooks."

 

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