INCOMPAS CEO Cites Cable Set-Top Proposal 'Shortcomings'

The Consumer Video Choice Coalition -- comprising 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.

Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, said in a blog post that the cable proposal represents progress, but it still has a ways to go.

Read the "ditch the box" compromise proposal.

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

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

•  "It takes a step backward 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 "ditch the box" 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.