FCC defends cable box battle

Staff at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are pushing back against claims that the federal regulator is trying to control commercial contracts with its cable box plan.

In a series of tweets Gigi Sohn, the person widely seen to be behind a raft of FCC proposals that clamp down on telco market abuse, criticized the argument that the FCC was trying to create a "compulsory license."

The proposal would prevent the FCC from changing any current agreements, she argued, and would work the same as a previously agreed approach (over CableCARD) but just removes cable industry control by adding other parties to the negotiations.

After severe criticism of its original plan to make cable companies release their data streams in an open format, the FCC switched tactics and adopted the industry's app-based approach, but with the FCC overseeing the creation of a new license. The industry is not keen on the idea, mostly because it prevents them from tying up the market, worth billions every month. ®

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