Regulators

FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler proposes universal TV set-top-box

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/regulators-images/2016/01/28/Federal-Communications-Commission.jpg?itok=eXFMEqmf

MUMBAI: In an attempt to overhaul the rules for television, tear down anti-competitive barriers and pave the way for software, devices and other innovative solutions to compete with set-top boxes (STBs), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed universal STBs for television, which would allow consumers to view traditional cable and streaming video content on television.

Wheeler is targeting a vote on 18 February by the five-member FCC on a proposal to overhaul the rules for STBs, which connect to cable, satellite and fiberoptic video systems.

The proposed regulation would let customers get video services from providers instead of cable, satellite and other television providers.

“Ninety-nine per cent of pay-TV subscribers are chained to their set-top boxes because cable and satellite operators have locked up the market,” the FCC said.

According to the FCC, Americans spent $20 billion a year to lease pay-TV boxes, or an average of $231 a year. STB rental fees have jumped 185 per cent since 1994, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones have dropped by 90 per cent.

Recognising the importance of a competitive marketplace, the Congress directed the Commission to adopt rules that will ensure consumers will be able to use the device they prefer for accessing programming they’ve paid for.

The FCC said that the only change it was proposing was to allow consumers alternative means of accessing the content they pay for.

Wheeler’s proposal will create a framework for providing innovators, device manufacturers and app developers the information they need to develop new technologies. Consumers should be able to choose how they access the Multichannel Video Programming Distributor’s (MVPDs) – cable, satellite or telco companies – video services to which they subscribe.

“A competitive marketplace is required by a 1996 law. Set-top boxes should be open to pay-TV rivals using formats that conform to specifications set by an independent, open standards body,” the FCC said.

The proposal will help promote interoperability and remove barriers to innovation, prevent theft and misuse, lift up independent and minority programming content, honour the sanctity of contracts by providing copyright protection,  provide consumer protection by offering emergency alerts, privacy and advertising restrictions.

It will also offer consumers more choice, greater flexibility, increased innovation, more competition and better prices.

While the proposal has been welcomed by some, others have pooh-poohed it.

“The promising slate of reforms proposed by (the chairman) could potentially allow consumers greater access to the content that they pay for, granting greater control over when, where, and how they want to access it, on the device they choose, without being locked into constant, unnecessary fees and excruciating installation and repair appointments,” said National Hispanic Media Coalition vice president of policy Michael Scurato.

RLJ Entertainment chairman and Black Entertainment Television chairman Robert L. Johnson also came out in support of FCC’s proposal.

Johnson said, “In my opinion, this is the best decision that the FCC has made to increase minority diversity in media content distribution since the Commission championed the tax certificate, which allowed for the increase in minority ownership of media properties. I am also very pleased that after speaking with several Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Caucus has agreed to a meeting to hear my position on this matter.”

“If you have a good program idea, some financing and access to the Internet, you can find your audience. But your audience can only find you if they have a modem or a set-top box or software that lets them know you are there and gives them access to your programs unconstrained by the network gatekeeper,” he added.

However, a coalition of pay-TV provider called Future of TV Coalition comprising the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, American Cable Association, Motion Picture Association of America and others, which has been formed to oppose the ‘AllVid’ proposal, said the proposed regulation will not provide new programming to customers or lower their television bills.

In a statement, the Future of TV Coalition said, “The FCC proposal, as best anyone can understand it, still strips out all the tools that are used to honour license agreements, would increase consumer costs by mandating yet a second box inside the home and thus ignores the trends away from in-home boxes and devices, eliminates security protections and provides no reassurance on privacy rights.”

TV One CEO Alfred Liggins and Future of TV Coalition co-chair added, “The ‘AllVid’ proposal is a brazen money grab by the Big Tech companies that would do severe damage to the programming ecosystem, and in particular, niche and minority-focused networks.”

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/03/MODI.jpg?itok=5t6xb4sI
Reliance Jio may be fined for using PM's pic in ad sans permission

NEW DELHI: The Government has denied that it gave permission for publication of a full-page photograph of the prime minister Narendra Modi in advertisements in newspapers about Reliance Jio.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/03/Naidu-Rajyavardhan.jpg?itok=ThSaViAu
Telecast ban withheld in two of 31 cases; no IMC recast plan

NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said that there have been only two cases in the past two years and the current year where the government has put on hold its orders asking TV channels to prohibit transmission for limited time.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/Mukesh-Ambani.jpg?itok=GM5K9E_C
TRAI to examine whether 4G offer can 'Jio' till Mar '17

MUMBAI: In his attempt to arduously chase the 100-million subscriber base, Reliance Jio CMD Mukesh Ambani announced extension of free domestic voice calls and data till 31 March, 2017, having crossed 50 million in 83 days. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), however, said it will...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/01/RS%20Sharma.jpg?itok=0DVLLRfk
Consumers may get 60-day notice from unprofessional telcos

MUMBAI: The latest consultation paper of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is about issues related to closure of mobile phone services. TRAI seeks to extend the time mobile users get to change their service-provider if a particular company is shutting shop or selling its spectrum.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/01/ajit-gupta-800x800.jpg?itok=ppyJ97Jx
HC admits challenge to Care World TV ban

NEW DELHI: The Bombay High Court yesterday admitted for hearing a petition challenging a week-long ban against Care World India TV, after the information and broadcasting ministry declined to replace its earlier order with a new detailed order.

Regulators High Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/11/29/rajya-800x800.jpg?itok=yNfwc2od
India to digitise all services, says I&B MoS Rathore

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that the government is making all efforts to digitalise the whole spectrum of services available to the citizens. He said that convergence of array of services to empower citizens through mobile technology was...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/11/29/FM%20radio.jpg?itok=MOM0mEgP
India's second radio operator MBL seeks to list

MUMBAI: Music Broadcast Ltd (MBL), the FM radio unit of the media house Jagran Prakashan backed by the private equity giant Blackstone, on Monday, filed draft documents with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India for an initial public offering.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/11/29/Narendra-Modi1.jpg?itok=DyuzBdPL
PM's 'Mann Ki Baat': AIR starts regional translation after Hindi

NEW DELHI: All India Radio commenced the regional language broadcast of the prime minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ immediately after the Hindi broadcast.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/11/28/ajit-gupta-800x800.jpg?itok=ijSaTd5t
HC seeks detailed govt order on Care World India's week-long ban

The Bombay High Court today said the Information and Broadcasting Ministry's order imposing a one-week ban against Care World India TV is not a ‘speaking order’ as it does not give details of the violations by the channel.

Regulators High Court

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories