INCOMPAS CEO Cites Cable Box Proposal 'Shortcomings'

The Consumer Video Choice Coalition—Google, INCOMPAS and others—has some bones to pick with cable operators' "ditch the box" alternative to the FCC's "unlock the box" set-top proposal.

In a blog post, Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, said the cable proposal is progress but still has a ways to go.

"The cable industry’s recent proposal makes some forward progress," he wrote, though he also saw some "key" shortcomings, arguing that:

• "It blocks future innovation. People don't want to go from a closed box to a closed app.

• "Takes a step backwards on functionality: Cable's proposal is only for streaming boxes, not DVRs...meaning consumers would still need multiple devices.

• "It lacks enforceability. Having been fooled before by cable promises, the FCC must take action to ensure competition, comply with the law."

FCC staffers have a bunch of questions for cable operators about the proposal as well.

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.