Latta Lays Into FCC Set-Top Proposal

Related: Cable-Satellite Group Slams Wheeler's Set-Top Plan

Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) is no fan of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to require MVPDs to "unlock" their set-tops and share information with third parties.

The FCC was under a congressional mandate to come up with recommendations for a software solution to separating surfing and security functions in set-tops after the Congress ended the ban on set-tops that integrated both those functions, but Latta was one member of Congress who did not like the proposed solution.

“The elimination of the integration ban was intended to rid the marketplace of an outdated technological mandate and to foster greater competition and innovation,” said Latta in a statement.  “However, the latest FCC proposal replaces the failed CableCARD regime with yet another government-dictated standard that will force Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) to dismantle their services for third-party use."

FCC officials speaking on background argue it is not forced unbundling of MVPD content.  

"The future of pay-TV should not be inhibited by unnecessary government involvement," said Latta. "Instead, the marketplace should be advanced and shaped by consumer demands and competition. The FCC’s proposal will inevitably lead to higher costs and less choices for the American people.”

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.