As consumers rely more and more on wireless devices and services, our nation faces a looming spectrum shortfall. CEA strongly supports government efforts to free up spectrum for licensed and unlicensed use in three key ways: (1) repurposing TV broadcast spectrum for valuable wireless broadband uses; (2) exploring spectrum sharing; and (3) and clearing and repurposing underutilized federal spectrum. In particular, TV broadcast spectrum repurposed through voluntary incentive auctions will promote innovation and job creation, reduce the national debt, and amply compensate television broadcasters that choose to participate. Most important, incentive auctions will greatly alleviate the spectrum crunch so Americans can enjoy robust wireless broadband capability that will power our innovation-driven economy.
We believe that consumers should have the right to attach devices of their choice to broadband networks as well as have unfettered access to content. CEA believes that the government can most effectively address the net neutrality debate by reallocating spectrum for wireless broadband use. This reallocation would ensure rapid broadband deployment and a competitive, pro-consumer broadband marketplace.
CEA supported the release of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan in March 2010. Specifically, CEA commended the FCC’s goals regarding our nation’s spectrum crisis, competition in the marketplace for video devices and accessibility issues. CEA will continue to work closely with the FCC through the rulemaking process to ensure that the goals of the NBP are met.
In today’s fast- changing media landscape, the consumer electronics industry, policymakers and all other stakeholders share a common goal: to protect our children and help them to advance and thrive in today’s digital world. To that end, the CEA’s member companies have developed and continue to provide effective products and product features to help parents structure their children’s television experience. Video providers also offer a broad array of parental control tools. Interested parents can take advantage of this vibrant marketplace to find technological tools and services to tailor their children’s viewing experience to meet their family’s particular needs. Because a myriad of options for parents exist, CEA does not support government-mandated parental control technologies.
CEA has long-supported the ability of consumers to attach the device of their choice to their pay-TV service. In the Telecom Act of 1996, Congress included language to ensure the availability of competitive devices at retail so that consumers could buy a device and attach it to their pay-TV service. The CableCARD was envisioned as a bridge between CE devices and pay-TV services, but this solution has been met with many roadblocks by the cable industry. CEA supported FCC action to strengthen its CableCARD rules. Recognizing the lack of competition in the market for competitive devices, the FCC’s National Broadband Plan recommended that the FCC initiate a proceeding to ensure that a “gateway” device is installed by pay-TV (MVPD) providers in all new subscriber homes and all homes requiring replacement set-top boxes by the end of 2012. The NBP suggested that the gateway device should be simple and that its sole function should only be to “bridge the proprietary or unique elements of the MVPD network.” CEA supports the continued use of CableCARDs and movement toward a gateway device. We must achieve a level playing field for competitive devices.
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