FCC de­lays vote on dis­puted cable box rules

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - — As­so­ci­ated Press

Fed­eral reg­u­la­tors de­layed a de­ci­sion Thurs­day on re­quir­ing cable and satel­lite TV com­pa­nies to make free apps to elim­i­nate the need for cable boxes. Con­sumers could po­ten­tially save a few hun­dred dol­lars a year if they didn’t have to buy or rent a cable box and in­stead use apps for smart TVs or stream­ing gad­gets they al­ready have, such as Roku or Ap­ple TV. The Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion also wanted to pro­mote gad­gets that would let peo­ple search for video from on­line ser­vices such as Net­flix and YouTube, not just TV chan­nels. The com­mis­sion­ers said they need more time to dis­cuss last-minute changes. Con­sumer ad­vo­cates who have pushed for the mea­sure blasted the de­lay, while the cable in­dus­try trade group NCTA ap­plauded it. The plan has drawn crit­i­cism from the TV in­dus­try, Hol­ly­wood stu­dios and dozens of law­mak­ers on is­sues in­clud­ing copy­right and FCC au­thor­ity.

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