Senator Markey, Original Investigator of Set-top Box Competition, Applauds President Obama Action on Video Boxes

Sens. Markey, Blumenthal investigation revealed consumers have little choice in set-top boxes, while set-top box rental market may be worth nearly $20 billion per year

Washington (April 15, 2016) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), House co-author of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, released the following statement after President Obama called on the FCC to open up set-top boxes to competition. In 2015, Senators Markey and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released findings from their investigation of the pay set-top box market, revealing that the average household spends more than $231 annually on video box rental fees. The investigation also found that approximately 99 percent of customers rent their set-top box directly from their pay-TV provider and the set-top box rental market may be worth more than $19.5 billion per year.

“Consumers, competition and choice are at the heart of a robust 21st century economy, and today’s announcement from the President will help ensure that these priorities drive the video box marketplace. The FCC’s recently-announced framework for innovators and companies to develop new technologies to allow consumers to access video programming without having to rent a box from their pay-TV provider in perpetuity is smart, fair and will spur the kind of competition that should animate our communications policies. I look forward to working with President Obama, my Senate colleagues, and the private sector to ensure consumers enjoy the benefits of a robust and affordable video box market.”