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Reps. Yvette D. Clarke and Gene Green Urge FCC to Delay Further Action Until Completion of Impact Study

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Gene Green (TX-29) sent a letter along with fifty-three of their colleagues urging Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Tom Wheeler to suspend further action on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) as it pertains to the Set top Box proposal. Following the approval of the study by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), it is even more critical for the FCC to consider the results of the study on the current and future marketplace. The proposed rules have the potential to adversely impact consumer privacy, intellectual property, programming, distribution and diversity of content available for the American consumer.

“I have vivid memories from my childhood where I noted the infrequency of faces and even stories that reflected and represented me,” stated Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09). “We have made significant progress in creating a diverse and an inclusive marketplace, but we cannot afford to move full speed ahead in a direction that threatens to undo said progress in the pursuit of greater ‘competition’. Promoting diversity and inclusion is an important principle and achievable public policy goal. I strongly urge FCC Chairman Wheeler to consider the concerns of my colleagues, media and content providers and the growing coalition of  advocates regarding this proposal and await the results of the impact study from the GOA.”

“I have serious concerns with the FCC’s proposal rule for cable set top boxes (STB). Though well-meaning, the unintended consequences are potentially disastrous for independent and minority programmers and content creators whose business model would be undermined by the proposal, and consumers whose personal information would become vulnerable if they moved to a third party cable box. The FCC needs to suspend further action on its rule until Congress, federal regulators, and the viewing public have a better understanding of the proposal and what it will mean for programming diversity, content piracy, and consumer privacy,” stated Rep. Gene Green (TX-29).

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