Originally published: October 14, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:46am
The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to promote innovation and consumer choice in the video device marketplace. Recommended in the National Broadband Plan, the rules promote the statutory goal of creating a competitive retail market for devices that can access cable video services. The FCC is also considering new rules that would allow consumers to buy smart video devices that can access all multichannel video programming services, enabling them to change service providers without replacing their video devices.
The overwhelming majority of digital cable subscribers currently lease set-top boxes from their cable providers. Although the CableCARD regime has made it possible for manufacturers to develop innovative devices that consumers can buy to access cable services, its full potential has not yet been realized. The National Broadband Plan indicated that these devices promote broadband adoption and use because they enable consumers to merge Internet-delivered content with cable services. The Plan identified discrete problems that have hindered the consumer experience with retail devices and therefore restrained the development of a retail market.
Adoption of the rules specifically remedies the CableCARD regime's shortcomings by:
1) ensuring that retail devices have access to all video programming that is prescheduled by the programming provider;
2) making CableCARD pricing and billing more transparent;
3) streamlining CableCARD installations; and 4) streamlining requirements for manufacturers who build CableCARD devices.
The Third R&O also updates rules to encourage consumers to connect their cable boxes to home networks and to ease the regulatory burdens on cable operators that are modernizing their systems.
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- Bill Shock, Mobility Fund, CableCARD on FCC's Agenda Next Week
- Video Innovation and Consumer Choice
- Cable Operators On Set Tops: Don't Fence Us In
- Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices
- Phoenix: FCC's AllVid proposal will do nothing to spur retail market in set-tops
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- Markey Pushes For All-Vid, CableCARD Fixes
- Fix CableCARD Issues
- FCC Open Meeting (Oct w/summary)
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- FCC's 'AllVid' Gateway Would Require Six IP Video Streams
- Competitive Availability of Navigation Devices