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FCC delays vote on controversial set-top box proposal

FCC delays vote on controversial set-top box proposal

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The Federal Communications Commission made a last-minute announcement this morning that it would delay the vote on a measure that would have effectively killed off the cable box by requiring TV providers to make their shows and movies available through free streaming apps.

The measure began as a far loftier set of changes. But it’s faced a lot of opposition from the cable industry and content providers, and little in the way of support from the tech industry that it’s supposed to benefit.

The cable industry has been really unhappy with the proposal

A revamped proposal was introduced earlier this month, attempting to address some major complaints, by giving cable companies more control over their content and adding more copyright protections for content providers.

But both industries grew concerned over a new element of the proposal: a licensing board governing the rules streaming boxes would have to follow if they wanted a cable company’s app. The FCC would have had veto power over its rules, and — naturally — cable companies didn’t want that to happen.

The commission says it’s pulled the proposal so that it can "resolve the remaining technical and legal issues" it’s facing. But more likely, it’s holding off because it doesn’t have the votes it needs to pass. FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has continued to express concern over the specifics of the proposal, even as she states support for its goals; without her vote, the measure wouldn’t pass.

A vote was supposed to occur during this morning's FCC meeting. For now, the set-top box measure will "remain under consideration" at the commission.