App Developers to FCC: Rethink Set-Top 'Intervention'

App developers were among those praising the FCC for standing down from its vote on an app-centric approach to promoting set-top box competition and access to over-the-top programming.

Following FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's decision to pull a vote from the Sept. 29 public meeting, the Application Developers Alliance, the primary trade group for software developers, signaled that the delay was a good thing "but only if they take this time to consider all the potential unintended consequences of government intervention into a dynamic market," said alliance president Jake Ward.

Related: App Developers Have Issues With FCC Set-Top Approach

The FCC is proposing a standards licensing body to sign off on an MVPD-supplied app that would make cable programming available on third-party boxes alongside over-the-top content.

They suggest that the marketplace is too fluid to be channeled into such a system.

"We are at the cusp of true innovation and opportunity for viewers, publishers, and providers. No one knows what will happen next," said Ward, "and that is the point.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.