Update: This post has been updated to clarify that the proposal was approved, not passed outright. The proposal is now open to public comment for a period of 60 days during which time cable providers, supporters, and dissenters can all voice their opinions. Those comments will be taken into consideration, revisions will be made based upon them, and a final vote on the proposal will take place after that. That being said, the fact that this proposal has even reached the public comment stage is a step in the right direction for those looking to liberate their cable box.
This week, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that you can get your cable through devices besides your company’s cable box. The ruling means that instead of having to rent the box from, say, Time Warner or ATT Uverse, you will be able to add that subscription onto your Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV and Roku boxes. You still have to have a cable subscription, but the massive rental fees will be a thing of the past. What does that really mean? Well, it’s going to give cable companies some competition and hopefully reduce the amount of money you have to spend every month. It’s not a done deal yet, but this is the first step in what is likely inevitable as industry standards change and people are cutting the cord in droves. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tweeted this today:
— Tom Wheeler (@TomWheelerFCC) February 18, 2016
Cable companies seem to be realizing, finally, that many consumers are fed up with their customer service. Time Warner, which had a less-than-stellar reputation, has even started a campaign to make themselves look better with shorter wait times for customer service calls and two hour windows for house calls. How we get our entertainment has been rapidly changing since the introduction of streaming services. Netflix and Amazon have been producing their own content, people are watching on phones and tablets, and even basic cable channels have apps you can get almost anywhere. Major cable channels like HBO already allow you to watch their shows without a separate cable subscription for a fee.
In a press release, Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey said, “The FCC’s new framework for innovators and companies to develop new technologies that allow consumers to access video programming without having to rent a box from their pay-TV provider is smart, fair and a long time in coming. The FCC’s action will help ensure that consumers are not captive to high video box leasing fees forever.”
What do you guys think about the ruling? Do you even have a cable subscription anymore? Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know if you’ve cut the cord and if this ruling changes anything for you.