Michael Powell, president & chief executive officer of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, made public Friday a letter to Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, asserting that the industry did not need a new standard for connected television services.
The letter is part of the NCTA’s ongoing response to AllVid, an FCC initiative intended to establish a standard for delivering pay TV and other premium services to the newest generation of connected hardware.
Powell’s letter said the multitude of innovations designed for connected TVs and mobile devices were evidence that a new standard wasn’t necessary. “The Cable Show demonstrated that Congress’s and the Commission’s video device goals are already being achieved in the marketplace,” he wrote. “As a panel of top industry CEOs underscored, there is broad-based momentum in the cable industry to deliver cable services to consumers on any device.”
NCTA’s position is that the entertainment landscape is a much different place than it was in 1998, when the FCC determined rules to ensure the market for set-top box manufacturers and multichannel video programming distributors was fully competitive.
As GigaOm reported, the NCTA believes innovation is already happening due to consumer demand, not because of a regulated standard that may have unintended negative consequences. “Risk taking, investment, and innovation flourish most fully when freed from regulatory technology mandates and participants in the marketplace are able to craft thoughtful solutions that optimize value to consumers,” Powell wrote.
Several companies formed the AllVid Tech Company Alliance in February to support the standard, including Google, Sony Electronics, TiVo Inc., Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, SageTV, Nagravision and Best Buy.
The Motion Picture Association of America has criticized AllVid for not providing enough protection against copyright infringement.
Letter from NCTA to FCC (PDF): http://tinyurl.com/5wa55tr
FCC Notice of Inquiry (PDF): http://tinyurl.com/623763m
GigaOm post: http://tinyurl.com/67r769j