November 09, 2015

Wyden Calls on FCC to Foster More Competition and Choice in Pay-TV Video Box Marketplace

Washington, DC – Today, Senators Ron Wyden, D–Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and six other senators called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use its authority and initiate a rulemaking to ensure that consumers can use set-top boxes of their choice to access MVPD (multichannel video programming distributors) programming. According to information requested by Senators Markey and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., from the top ten MVPDs, almost all MVPD customers rent these video boxes from their provider, and each American household spends on average $232 per year on video box rental fees alone.

Senators Edward J. Markey, D–Mass., Bernie Sanders, I–Vt., Richard Blumenthal, D–Conn., Al Franken, D–Minn., Maria Cantwell, D–Wash., Cory A. Booker, D–N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D–Mass., also signed the letter. 

“We call on the Commission to move as quickly as possible to initiate a rulemaking that ensures that Americans can use set top boxes of their choice to access MVPD programming,” the senators wrote. “We strongly encourage the Commission to ensure that this replacement technology is cheap, efficient, widely available and easy to use. The goal of this technology should be to usher in a new wave of innovation in the set top box marketplace, giving consumers a greater number of cheaper options to buy their own set top boxes.”

A copy of the senators’ letter to the FCC can be found HERE.