VOL. 12, NO. 16
April 25, 2016




Cable Boxes Suck. One Day They'll Die. Until Then We Have to Fix Them.

The Verge
Disney, CBS, Viacom worry FCC cable box proposal would do to TV what iTunes did to music


May 12

May 23
Reply Comments Due on Set-Top Box NPRM

May 27
Comments Due in NPRM on Privacy Guidelines for Broadband ISPs

Reply Comments, Oppositions to Petitions Due on Verizon Acquisition of XO Communications

June 27
Reply Comments Due in NPRM on Privacy Guidelines for Broadband ISPs
Facebook Joins INCOMPAS
INCOMPAS announced last week that Facebook has become its newest member. The addition of Facebook, adds to the growing INCOMPAS membership, and brings a strong new voice to the association as it continues to promote competition, innovation and new network deployment for both wired and mobile networks.

"INCOMPAS is thrilled to welcome Facebook to the Internet and competition association. We are the home to new networks, competition and streaming services and excited to have Facebook on our team. Facebook is a pioneer that continues to introduce new products and new ideas that connect our families, business and friends. We look forward to working with Facebook as we advocate for open networks, broadband deployment and a more connected mobile future," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering.

Facebook joins other recent INCOMPAS additions, including Twitter, Google Fiber, Netflix, Amazon, Rocket Fiber, Tivo and T-Mobile. INCOMPAS also includes Level 3, Windstream, EarthLink, Sprint, Granite Telecommunications and many others.
INCOMPAS Comments on 
FCC's Set-Top Box Proposal 
Last Friday, INCOMPAS filed comments urging the FCC to end cable's set-top box monopoly control and create a market that will inject competition and innovation.

"Markets, not monopolies, are the key to innovation and lower prices. Unlocking the set-top box will give consumers more choice, inject competition into a stagnant market, and create new opportunities for streaming services and content creators," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "Action by the FCC to unlock the set-top box will create new companies, more jobs and an entire new industry for video services. It's an economic win for consumers and business."

The INCOMPAS filing makes the following points in favor of the FCC proposal:
  • The need to create a new market and end monopoly control.
  • The FCC has the legal authority, consistent with bipartisan Congressional mandate.
  • Calls for an open, interoperable standard mirroring what has worked to bring competition, choice and innovation in the smartphone market.
  • There is widespread support for unlocking the set top box from editorial boards across the nation (USA Today, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Boston Globe, Bloomberg and many more)

INCOMPAS has been working with consumer groups, device manufactures and technology companies that would like to see competitive market forces bring innovation and lower prices.

Wireless Firms Back INCOMPAS-Verizon BDS Compromise
The nation's wireless community is rallying behind the INCOMPAS-Verizon compromise to ensure competition and access are preserved under the FCC's new proposal for business data services (BDS), formerly known as the special access market, which will be addressed at the Commission's Open Meeting on Thursday, April 28.

In a letter to the FCC, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and the Competitive Carriers Association all endorsed the compromise solution put forward by Verizon and INCOMPAS, the Internet and competitive networks association, representing competitive wired and wireless companies.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is calling for the FCC to act on a new framework for BDS that will update the special access rules to ensure competition and the access needed for wireless backhaul and competitive services to business customers, schools, hospitals, libraries and government buildings. These policies must include high-bandwidth Ethernet services, thereby, promoting next-generation mobile broadband networks, such as 5G.

"Today the wireless community is uniting behind the INCOMPAS-Verizon compromise to ensure more connections, better networks, lower prices and more competition," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "Economic growth and rural access depend on a healthy BDS market that speeds the deployment of new 5G networks."