“The cable industry and others have offered an alternative apps plan that would still leave them in control while falling short on ensuring competition and consumer choice,” the Computer & Communications Industry Association says in a recent statement in reference to the FCC’s controversial “unlock the box” proposal.
The CCIA is using a white paper submitted to the FCC to propose what it reports is a way to bridge the gap between the FCC’s plan to bring competition to set-tops and its opponents.
“Meaningful competition will promote innovation and enhance consumer experience. The discussion often involves technical terms and data, but the essence of the debate remains simple,” CCIA President & CEO Ed Black, says. “Consumers should be able to access the content they have paid for and they should have choice in how they do they do that. Third-party devices should not be expected to compete on an unlevel playing field.”
Black believes concerns expressed by opponents of the FCC plan can be addressed with existing technologies, security and certification practices.
“For example, consumers have confidence in online shopping or banking on websites that have a ‘lock icon’ that signals a ‘secure’ website rather than an ‘imposter’ site, and that can be done here, too,” he comments. A digital certificate from a certified authority for third-party set-top boxes would allow the FCC to protect stakeholders and unlock the box.”
Of course, there are many who disagree stanchly with “unlock the box,” including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which filed comments with the FCC about potential harms back in May, and also followed that up last month with a more than 1,000-page filing after the Commission requested more information about the open standard-based apps proposal presented by NCTA, a group of independent programmers and pay TV operators.
Filed Under: Industry regulations