Media Concentration

CFA Calls on FCC to Regulate the Uncompetitive Video Set-Top Market, Relieve Overcharged Consumers

In a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Secretary Marlene H. Dortch, Consumer Federation of America and Public Knowledge are calling on the FCC to regulate the uncompetitive video set-top market, which is currently raking in $6 – 14 billion in overcharges from unwitting consumers. CFA notes in its letter that the average charge for a set-top box has increased by 184% since 1994 (see graph), at a time when comparable consumer electronics have dropped in price by over 90%. The cost savings to consumers, in addition to the boosts to independent and diverse programming and innovation, provide a strong impetus for the Commission to finally achieve the goals of Section 629 of Communications Act. For these reasons, Public Knowledge and the Consumer Federation of America urge the Commission to quickly begin a rulemaking proceeding implementing the virtual head-end proposal found in this docket.

Set Top Box Graph