FCC Proposes Huge Change That Could Allow Amazon, Apple & Google to Replace Your Cable Company

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    [​IMG]

    Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the FCC isn't too popular right now because of his head-scratching proposal of an "internet fast lane" in regards to Net Neutrality. However, he just released a new proposed rules change for the FCC which may just provide him a bit of redemption and be great thing for consumers in the long run.

    The specifics of his proposal is that he wants revise the rule-making procedures to modernize the FCC's interpretation of the term “multichannel video programming distributor” (MVPD) by making it "technology-neutral." Wheeler basically wants to be able to have the FCC classify the over-the-top Internet streaming services in the same way as cable companies and satellite television companies.

    This would would allow online video providers to negotiate fair licensing deals with content providers, and it would keep broadcasters from stopping online video providers from carrying their content.There is actually precedent for this policy shift as well, and Wheeler cites this as an example in his proposal. In 1992, Congress did this with the burgeoning satellite industry in order to keep the cable companies from forcing them out of the market by blocking access to content.

    What's most intriguing about his idea is that it could open up an important door for tech companies that are already aiming at becoming TV content providers. Companies like Google, Apple, Amazon and others would basically be able to negotiate deals to get the same cable TV channels and major network channels that the big cable companies have, because they would now be classified as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). This would allow them to compete directly with the likes of Comcast, Time Warner and others.

    Wheeler boils it down by saying this rules change would “give MVPDs that use the Internet (or any other method of transmission) the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the same ability to negotiate to carry broadcast TV stations that Congress gave to satellite systems in order to ensure competitive video markets.”

    We will have to wait and see if this proposed rules change goes through, but it's a very promising and creative idea. We can't imagine the cable companies will be too thrilled about this idea.

    We have included a copy of his entire proposal in the thread below, and here is a link to the FCC source: Tech Transitions Video and the Future FCC.gov
     
  2. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    Here is Tom Wheeler's full proposal as shown on the FCC website:

    "
    Tech Transitions, Video, and the Future
    by: Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
    October 28, 2014 - 02:48 PM
    Consumers have long complained about how their cable service forces them to buy channels they never watch. The move of video onto the Internet can do something about that frustration – but first Internet video services need access to the programs. Today the FCC takes the first step to open access to cable programs as well as local television. The result should be to give consumers more alternatives from which to choose so they can buy the programs they want.

    In 1992 Congress realized that the then-nascent satellite industry would have a hard time competing because much cable programming was owned by cable companies who frequently kept it from competitors. Congress mandated access to cable channels for satellite services, and competition flourished. Today I am proposing to extend the same concept to the providers of linear, Internet-based services; to encourage new video alternatives by opening up access to content previously locked on cable channels. What could these over-the-top video providers (OTTs) supply to consumers? Many different kinds of multichannel video packages designed for different tastes and preferences. A better ability for a consumer to order the channels he or she wants to watch.

    So-called linear channels, which offer the viewer a prescheduled lineup of programs, have been the largely exclusive purview of over-the-air broadcasting, cable, and satellite TV. But these kinds of packages of programming are coming to the Web as well. DISH has said that it intends to launch an online service that may include smaller programming bundles. And it has already begun offering foreign language channels online. Sony, DIRECTV, and Verizon are also in the hunt. Recently, CBS announced a streaming service that includes linear channels, separate from cable subscriptions; and the new HBO service may as well.

    The mantra “Competition, Competition, Competition” fits perfectly with consumers’ desires for video choices. That’s why I’m asking my fellow Commissioners to update video competition rules so our rules won’t act as a barrier to this kind of innovation. Specifically, I am asking the Commission to start a rulemaking proceeding in which we would modernize our interpretation of the term “multichannel video programming distributor” (MVPD) so that it is technology-neutral. The result of this technical adjustment will be to give MVPDs that use the Internet (or any other method of transmission) the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the same ability to negotiate to carry broadcast TV stations that Congress gave to satellite systems in order to ensure competitive video markets.

    A key component of rules that spur competition is assuring the FCC’s rules are technology-neutral. That’s why the definition of an MVPD should turn on the services that a provider offers, not on how those services reach viewers. Twenty-first century consumers shouldn’t be shackled to rules that only recognize 20th century technology.

    Much of the focus of discussion about technology transitions has been on telecommunications, but video is transitioning too. Over-the-air TV has already moved from analog to digital transmission. And cable systems – already the dominant providers of high speed broadband – are moving their traditional services to IP-based delivery. This proposal recognizes that a cable system would continue to be regulated as a cable system, even if it migrates to IP delivery.

    The Commission established in our January Tech Transitions Order that the best way to speed the adoption of new technologies is to assure consumers that enduring values will be protected, including competition. That applies to video as well as telecommunications. By making our rules technology neutral, we can encourage both new video providers and incumbent cable operators to take advantage of the benefits of IP transmission, boosting competition.

    In our Open Internet proceeding, we seek to assure open access to broadband delivery. In this proceeding, we will address access to programming for those taking advantage of that open access. These new business models can bring new choices and advantages to consumers.

    In Title VI of the Communications Act, Congress created rules to ensure that cable companies that own video content can’t raise artificial barriers to competition by refusing to let their video competitors have access to the programming they own. That worked for satellite providers, and also helped telephone companies entering the video business. I believe it makes just as much sense – and will have just as positive a consumer benefit – for an OTT.

    Such benefits follow from innovation. Taking advantage of this rule, new OTTs may offer smaller or specialized packages of video programming, so consumers will be able to mix-and-match to suit their tastes. Aereo recently visited the Commission to make exactly this point – that updating the definition of an MVPD will provide consumers with new choices. And perhaps consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.

    Opening up program access will also stimulate the high-speed broadband buildout. In September, I detailed how limited today’s competition for high-speed fixed broadband in the United States is – about 75 percent of American homes have either zero or only one broadband network delivering speeds of 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream or better. Those seeking to deploy new competitive broadband networks tell us that it’s hard to provide new high-speed Internet access without also being able to offer a competitive video package as well. An updated definition of MVPD would permit a new broadband competitor to offer customers the ability to reach a variety of OTT video packages without necessarily having to enter the video business itself.

    We have passed from an era where it was necessary to build a purpose-specific pathway to deliver video. The innovation of Internet Protocol (IP) has freed video from these closed pathways and single-purpose devices. The proposal put forth today will update FCC rules to recognize this new reality and, as a result, expand competition and consumer choice."

    ~ Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    I can't see this happening unless all cable companies are on board. Imagine the insane amount of money they will lose when everyone ditches cable programming for maybe a handful of streamed channels.

    I would kill my cable service immediately.

    Then you get into data caps that every cable Internet companies have.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,016
    Likes Received:
    3,979
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Ratings:
    +4,254
    The cable companies will never be on board with this, but there may not be anything they can do about it. Obviously they would lobby hard against it, but Google, Apple, Amazon and others could lobby just as hard right back. It would be an interesting fight for sure.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. sst45jeff

    sst45jeff Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +59
    Current Phone Model:
    Droid Turbo
    Its about time. Cable needs some competition.
    They have basically been printing money for themselves.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. liftedplane

    liftedplane Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,171
    Likes Received:
    726
    Trophy Points:
    323
    Location:
    Washington State
    Ratings:
    +885
    exactly, this would force them to lower their prices and compete fairly. just like it mentioned satellite providers had this issue and look at it now.

    this would be a very welcome change, until the isp starts enforcing their data limits.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,455
    Likes Received:
    3,886
    Trophy Points:
    1,563
    Ratings:
    +4,348
    This might FINALLY allow pay per channel vs package deals, no matter the source of the media. Right now lobbyists for channels that suck rule the day keeping the legislation from getting further along in congress. It also might quell the yearly battle with your channel provider and your favorite channel getting into a price increase urinating contest and you end up missing a few episodes of the Living Dead, or whatever, while they both blame the other for you missing your favorite programs/channels

    Sent from my LG-D801 using Tapatalk
     
  8. Beardface

    Beardface Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    97
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Ratings:
    +117
    They don't have to like it for it to work.

    If this goes through, Google Fiber just became the biggest thorn in the side of every major internet provider and cable company out there. Imagine if Google could bundle streaming television with gigabit internet speeds? Why would you ever sign up for Time Warner Cable or Comcast or AT&T or DirecTV? This is really good for consumers, as it'll lead to a true bidding war for consumers as the technology evolves and becomes more robust.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
    Staff Member Rescue Squad

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,470
    Likes Received:
    7,049
    Trophy Points:
    1,278
    Location:
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Ratings:
    +8,391
    Current Phone Model:
    Pixel XL
    Twitter:
    jonny_ks
    As others have mentioned, the cable companies still provide the internet and have the ability to set their data caps and etc.

    If this goes through, they'll take a hit, but I'm sure they'll find a way to gouge us even more on internet service.
     
  10. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
    Staff Member Rescue Squad

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,470
    Likes Received:
    7,049
    Trophy Points:
    1,278
    Location:
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Ratings:
    +8,391
    Current Phone Model:
    Pixel XL
    Twitter:
    jonny_ks
    I'm a fan of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. He's got a new show on CNN along the same vein, but the jobs aren't dirty. He just posted recently on Facebook that Dish (I believe) and CNN had one of these issues and Dish has decided not to carry it. CNN. Not available. His show is the only one I regularly watch on there now, but I know PLENTY of people that watch it quite often. Crazy.
     
  11. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    Streaming companies will still have to buy the rights from the big boys. Do you think that they will make this less affordable than their own current packages? Not happening. The courts shut Aereo down for a reason...the cable companies rallied together.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes Received:
    2,103
    Trophy Points:
    1,468
    Location:
    South Coast
    Ratings:
    +2,483
    Current Phone Model:
    Note Edge - iPhone 6 Plus
    And Google fiber reaches how many people right now? Fiber is a non-factor at this stage in the game. I would love to have it, but the reality is that it will be many years before my area even gets an honorable mention of maybe getting it.
     
    • Like Like x 4