FCC delays vote on disputed cable box rules
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.