Future of TV Offers Up Set-Top Myths and Realities

Counters Eshoo letter backing FCC proposal

The Future of TV Coalition, which includes ISPs and others critical of the FCC's set-top box proposal, fired back Wednesday (May 18) after Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) called on her congressional colleagues to back the FCC against cable ops she said were trying to protect their set-top monopoly.

The coalition circulated a link to its own myths and realities list about the issue, countering Eshoo's "facts and fictions" list backing her side, which she included in a Dear Colleague letter.

“This debate isn’t about whether consumers should have alternatives to leased set-top boxes," said the coalition in a statement on that letter. "All sides agree they should, and this is already happening in the market today.  This debate is really about the best way to advance that innovation even further while respecting the copyright, licensing, diversity, and privacy characteristics of the TV ecosystem.

"A vast and diverse coalition of music, film, and TV creators, networks and programmers, TV distributors, the labor and business communities, dozens of civil rights groups, a host of economists and policy experts, and more than 150 Members of Congress have raised concerns about the scope and impact of the Chairman’s proposed mandate," the coalition added.

Read More:Complete Coverage of the FCC's Set-Top Proposal

National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell has been making that point this week at the INTX convention in Boston and before that in an interview with Multichannel News [subscription required].

"This vibrant and healthy market is giving consumers unprecedented options and choice, and we should not freeze this innovation in place with a backward-looking technology mandate that will do far more harm than good," the coalition said.