(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to increase choice and innovation in the video-box market. The proposed rules would create a framework for device manufacturers and innovators to develop new technologies that allow consumers to access video programming without having to rent a box from their pay-TV provider.
“While the price of televisions, computers and mobile phones have significantly declined in the past several years, the cost of set-top boxes has sky-rocketed for one simple reason – consumers have no alternatives. Today the FCC voted to move forward on a proposal that would change that. By breaking open the market, this critical proposal would boost competition in the industry and help consumers retake control of their monthly cable bill. I will continue working with Senator Markey and my colleagues to ensure the proposed rules are adopted and protect consumers from these unjustifiable fees.”
Senators Blumenthal and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) last year released findings from their investigation of the pay set-top box market that found consumers have little choice in their pay-TV video boxes and that the average household spends more than $231 annually on video box rental fees. With approximately 99 percent of customers renting their set-top box directly from their pay-TV provider, the set-top box rental market may be worth more than $19.5 billion per year.