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Obama is sick and tired of cable companies ripping us off with crappy cable TV boxes

by Todd Haselton | April 15, 2016April 15, 2016 4:30 pm PST

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President Obama is on our side, so it seems, and is finally pushing the cable industry to change its way and to stop pushing crappy cable boxes on its customers. So, no, you’re not the only one sitting on your couch wondering why the Comcast software is so terrible, and why you need to pay a monthly fee for a box that’s required to access another service you already pay crazy monthly charges for.

The Washington Post said this week that President Obama and his team recently “pressed for changes to the cable box in a letter to federal regulators,” including the FCC. That news follows a public blog post published by The White House that discusses how “99 percent of all cable subscribers lease a set-top box to get their cable and satellite programming,” a fact that the Obama administration agrees is just astounding, considering how crappy the boxes are and how they’re required.

“It sits in the middle of our living rooms, and most of us don’t think twice about it,” The White House said. “But that same study found that the average household pays $231 per year to rent these often clunky boxes. And, while the cost of making these boxes is going down, their price to consumers has been rising.”

President Obama has officially called on regulators such as the FCC to try to fix the issue. The White House expects responses within 60 days when teams will pore over the findings and push to make sweeping regulatory changes.

“These new steps will build on pro-competition progress we’ve made—from cell phone unlocking to net neutrality, from cracking down on conflicts of interest in retirement advice to efforts to free up essential technologies so that big incumbent companies can’t crowd out their competitors,” The White House said.

We could see the cable industry push for the change itself, who knows. With added pressure from various streaming services, cable operators have been doing just about everything to keep customers from cutting the cord.

Maybe, if we’re lucky, we can kiss another monthly fee goodbye.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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