Sen. Feinstein to Wheeler: Publish Set-Top Proposal

Concerned it could hurt content providers

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has joined a number of both Republicans and Democrats calling on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to publish the text of his latest set-top box proposal before it is voted on.

A Wheeler spokesperson said last week that the chairman did not plan to publish the test -- which is working product that can still be modified and edited before a vote, and sometimes even after -- but did plan to vote on the proposal Sept. 29 as originally scheduled.

Related: Amazon Backs Broadcasters on Audience Measurement in Apps

In her letter, Feinstein pointed to the chairman's fact sheet on the new, apps-based variation, saying she supported choice in set-tops, but still had concerns that the proposal would hurt content providers (many of which are headquartered in her state) and the carefully negotiated licensing agreements they have struck with MVPDs.

Wheeler has said the proposal does not insert the FCC into those agreements, but instead oversees them to insure that a new app license for third-party navigation device use of MVPD content is reasonable and not anticompetitive.

Related: AFL-CIO Lays Into FCC Set-Top Plan

She also cited the Senate Judiciary's role in copyright (she is a member of the committee) and said she had concerns about the FCC proposal encroaching on that jurisdiction, a point that has been raised by other legislators.