Why is the FCC Handing Google Your TV?

Why is the FCC Handing Google Your TV?

A new FCC rule would force TV providers to install a new box that would give tech companies like Google access to their programming. Regulation is supposed to protect us, whether from changing climate or lead in our water or speculators who crash financial markets. But the FCC has proposed a regulation that hands control of your TV to the country’s biggest monopolist, Google. It’s a regulatory giveaway to the richest company in the world that would pile new costs and risks on TV viewers—standing the very concept of regulation on its head. And aside from its grotesque economics, it’s a political snare for Democratic politicians (like myself) who will be stuck defending this mess. The FCC rule would force TV providers to buy and install a new box that would give tech companies access to their programming—live and in real time—for them to use to launch competing services. These new “AllVid” boxes (named after a comparable proposal the FCC rejected in 2010) would let Google put the TV channels you pay for up alongside its YouTube programs or other searchable content, as if anyone was having trouble finding that stuff. The FCC argues this must be done in order to make TV more “competitive,” a euphemism for making you buy new Google TV boxes that compete with the ones you already use. The idea that TV needs government regulation to become competitive is on its face absurd. Apple and Roku boxes and Web-based streaming services with their massive “binge ready” libraries are winning the competition with cable and satellite already as cord cutting booms. You can search the Internet on a SONY flat screen or any other smart TV […]