The FCC is About to Make Cable Boxes Obsolete reports that your television may soon be more useful as a giant computer monitor if the FCC’s new proposal to let any company license TV shows from broadcast and cable networks passes. The proposal would basically change the definition of what television programming systems are, acknowledging that the Internet is a valid choice for watching live channels, even without subscribing to a cable or satellite TV provider. If passed, companies that want to show TV online would be able to negotiate from the same position as any TV providers, making Internet television a reality.

“Our proposal will mean more alternatives for consumers beyond the traditional cable or satellite bundle, including giving consumers more options to buy the programming they want,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement. “When digital technology made video simply zeroes and ones, it opened up the opportunity for new Internet-based competition to cable and satellite services.  Yet efforts by new entrants to develop new video services have faltered because they could not get access to programming content that was owned by cable networks or broadcasters.”

The proposal got a sort of unanimous approval, with the three Democrat commissioners voting in favor and the two Republicans voting only to concur. The Republican  commissioners had plenty of caveats for their approval over what the future of the proposal will look like.


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