Riding in on his unicorn comes our glorious president, The One, to make sure that those evil cable companies… uh… are suitably understood to be evil (they make a profit!!!!!)… and, um… have to be taught a lesson… so something good here about your set top box. Maybe it can be free or subsidized or it can be made to provide every programming channel in the known universe for no extra cost! Something magical and free about the set top box is coming to you or someone, in the classic Obama fashion. They’ll figure out the details later — after some poll-testing.
Yes, Pres. Obama has once more inserted himself into an issue that should rightly be none of Washington’s concern. The attempt to regulate or control every flippin’ moment and activity of our lives continues unabated.
Our cable systems should be none of the FCC’s business. They do not take up public airwaves. They are privately funded and are private space. They are enabled by localities — cities, counties and state. That is where such proposals and debates need to take place — not between FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s ears and then become yet another cycle of bread and circuses for Obama to present to the peasant masses to win their votes and distract them from more important things.
It should also be noted that making the cable companies provide the option of using other companies’ set top boxes is like requiring GM to offer Ford engines as options for its cars and vice-versa.
Cable services are not a right, they are a voluntary service. How companies configure them is up to the company and its approach to the market. Consumers vote with their pocketbooks
I happen to like the idea of multiple box options but I see no mandating reason to make it a law or a regulation. I, honestly, don’t think Obama and Wheeler (and liberals in general — along with more than a few Republicans) understand that difference. Just because something might be good doesn’t mean it has to be required or governed by Washington.
It should also be noted that Google is for this mandate because they see a way to get their nose further into the tent and weaken their competitors, the big cable companies.
Here are two stories on the topic: “President Obama Backs Wheeler’s Set-Top Proposal, Big Time” and “D.C. Weighs In on President’s Set-Top Support.”