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Sen. Menendez Seeks Answers on Set-Top Concerns

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey can be added to the growing list of legislators from both parties cautioning the FCC about its set-top box proposal.

Unlike some others, Menendez does not ask it to pause the proceeding or deep six it altogether.

In fact he lauds the objective of injecting competition into the marketplace and commended the FCC for tackling the set-top navigation device issue.

But, in a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, he says that the video marketplace is "a competitive and innovative environment" and asks how the proposal—to require MVPDs to make their set-top programming streams and data available to third party navigation devices and apps—will address concerns by affected stakeholders, though suggesting the concerns would stem from any proposal "designed to make substantive changes within an established industry."

Among the concerns raised by MVPDs and content providers is the protection of intellectual property, licensing agreements that guard against piracy, and the impact of the proposal on minority programmers, an issue that was hot on the Hill This week.

Menendez wants Wheeler to explain how the proposal will protect content, agreements and access to minority programming, adding that he would also like to know what else the FCC is doing to boost diverse voices in broadcasting.