Set-Top Coalition Coalesces

Google, others to make concerted pitch to DSTAC

The Video Choice Coalition (VCC) is being formed to push the FCC for competitive set-tops that pass through a variety of video options.

Members of the coalition include CCIA, COMPTEL, Public Knowledge, Writers Guild of America, West, Google, TiVo Inc., and VIZIO.  

The FCC's Downloadable Security Technical Advisory Committee (DSTAC) was formed in January of this year, mandated by Congress in the STELAR Act. The FCC's current ban on set-tops with integrated security sunsets next year per the bill and DSTAC is charged with recommendations on downloadable security by Sept. 4.

"The new Coalition will demonstrate to policymakers at the FCC and on Capitol Hill that there is broad support to promote competition and innovation by making video networks more available to third-party devices," the groups said in announcing the VCC.

“Lack of choice and competition for alternative set top box and other video delivery devices is costing consumers and holding back innovation,” said Comptel CEO Chip Pickering. “Unlocking the box will free consumers, content creators and builders by opening new platforms and new markets.”

Those are the same groups that wrote the FCC in May to say the FCC should not focus too narrowly on downloadable security but should instead take the opportunity to make sure consumers can "access the full complement of MVPD video service offerings," which the coalition has made its rallying cry.