FCC moves ahead with a proposal that could change the cable box business

In a three-to-two vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to move ahead with a proposal that could drastically change the cable set-top box industry, reports The Verge.

The proposal by Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, likely would involve giving cable and satellite customers more choice in whether to use their service provider’s set-top box and cable app, or use their own unit (as long as it met industry specs). The proposed rule changes will now move into a comment period — where businesses and customers will be able to weigh in — ahead of revisions and a final vote, still some months away.

As noted by AppleInsider, such changes could benefit Apple, which has run into problems both in attempts to work with cable companies and go around them directly to content owners. 

Commissioner Ajit Pai opposed the proposal, arguing that the decision would simply be changing "one complex regulatory scheme for another." "I know that the current set-top marketplace is the product of an intrusive regulatory regime," Pai said.

"This is not complex," Wheeler said. "The law mandates it, technology allows it, the industry at one time proposed something similar to it, and consumers deserve a break and a choice."