The Consumer Video Choice Coalition launched a new Unlock the Box website along with a variety of consumer groups yesterday. It urges consumers to write to the FCC and Congress via a contact form on the site, as well as spread the groups’ message on Facebook and Twitter.
“Consumers have the power to unlock the box. Make your voice heard so lawmakers know we’re fighting for lower prices and more choice,” the site states.
The website charges that consumers are currently being forced to pay $231 per year to rent a box and that set-top prices have risen 185 percent. The markets for phones, TVs and computers have dropped 90 percent over the same period, the site maintains.
“Unlock the Box is the new cut the cord,” Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS says. “The FCC has the opportunity to let competition unleash innovation in hardware, software and new streaming content.”
On the other side of this issue is the Future of Television Coalition, which argues that the FCC “AllVid” proposal would slow innovation and choice and drive up consumer bills. “Current AllVid proposals would actually require a new, additional government-mandated AllVid device in customers’ homes – resulting in more in-home devices, not fewer,” the Future of Television site states.
Other participants in the Unlock the Box website include Public Knowledge, Consumer Action, Common Cause, New America’s Open Technology Institute, INCOMPAS, CCIA as well as Demand Progress and Fight for the Future.
“Consumers and editorial boards around the nation are praising Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC for this effort to end the cable boxopoly,” Public Knowledge’s Chris Lewis says. “Giving consumers the power to choose their own devices will save money and create new opportunities for minority programmers who have been shut out by big cable companies.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations