FCC Backs Away From Allowing Personal Set Top Cable Boxes

Episode 1360 (02:08)

Ajit Pai being sworn in as FCC Chairman

With the new chairman and his anti net neutrality views, the FCC has changed direction on a rule that would require cable companies to allow users to use third party set top boxes. Leo said it was a great idea, but in reality, cable companies were starting to see the handwriting on the wall that cutting the cable is gathering speed. The FCC has also allowed for zero rating, where you can get free data if you watch streaming from partnered services. Leo says it sounds good on its face, but it's a bad idea because only some services get zero rated, flying in the face of the Net Neutrality notion that all bits are equal. Leo says that there really isn't a free market when you can charge for bits from one service, and give them free for another.

Additionally, the FCC is going to cancel programs that provide federally subsidized internet access to the poor. Leo says that according to the FCC, the program was poorly administered and with little oversight. So if you want to cancel it and reform it into a new program that works, he's all for it. But if you kill it and leave a vaccum, you do the poor a disservice. The Internet is really a utility now.