The Consumer Video Choice Coalition, comprising computer companies and others pushing for access to cable box info for their own navigation devices, has teamed with a number of groups to launch a new website, unlockthbox.com, to enlist consumers in the push.
The FCC recently launched a rulemaking on opening up MVPD set-top content and data—channel listings, VOD, the channels themselves—to third parties.
The website provides a form letter that can be automatically submitted to both the FCC and Congress with the message that consumers should have control over their content—the argument FCC chairman Tom Wheeler used in defending/explaining the proposal on public radio last week—and the FCC and Congress should "Unlock the Box."
ISPs, who have their own Future of Television Coalition to push back on the proposal, have argued that what the FCC would be unlocking is a Pandora’s box of problems, including potential deletion and replacement of advertising by those third parties and creating a new box and technical mandates when the industry is already moving toward an app-driven world.
CVCC is backed by Google, TiVo, Vizio, Public Knowledge, and the Writers Guild of America. Participating in Public Knowledge, Consumer Action, Common Cause, New America’s Open Technology Institute, INCOMPAS (formerly COMPTEL), and the Computer and Communications Industry Association.
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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.