New FCC Announcement to Reform Cable Box Rules Important Step for Consumer Choice, Says National Hispanic Media Coalition

FCC Action Important Next Step to Lower bills, Introduce Greater Consumer Choice

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) applauds today’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announcement that it would circulate a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking designed to give consumers greater choice over how they access video content and introduce competition into the cable box, or “set top box,” market. Last week, NHMC, along with several other public interest groups, wrote a letter to the FCC urging this course of action. Read the FCC fact sheet here and an op-ed by FCC Chairman Wheeler here. “By initiating a proceeding, the FCC is taking an important step that would affect the 99 percent of consumers who pay hundreds of dollars each year to rent cable boxes. The promising slate of reforms proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler could potentially allow consumers greater access to the content that they pay for, granting greater control over when, where, and how they want to access it, on the device they choose, without being locked into constant, unnecessary fees and excruciating installation and repair appointments,” said Michael Scurato, vice president of policy for National Hispanic Media Coalition. “This type of environment would be a tremendous boon for viewers wanting to find the diverse programming that speaks to the needs of their communities and, potentially, allow many content creators a clear path around cable company gatekeepers and into consumers’ homes.” Currently, it is incredibly difficult for consumers to purchase a cable box or access the cable programming that they pay for on another device. As a result, 99 percent of consumers rent a box from their cable company – with these needless and never-ending rental fees costing consumers nearly $20 billion dollars per year. Moreover, the content that consumers may wish to access is often difficult to find and locked into the cable company’s often antiquated user interface. For interviews, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or


The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications.


National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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