Analysis: Why free the STB from operator's control?

The Wall Street Journal has a front page story today that analyzes the FCC's initiative to make cable companies support third party set-top boxes and deploy boxes with removable security. Looks great on paper, and there is the argument for XBox 360 users who would be ready IPTV users, but really what's the impetus for this right now? Cable companies, of course, have little incentive to allow others to retail STBs. And FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told the WSJ that the crux of the problem is that consumers don't have much reason to buy fancy units at retailers when they can get one cheap from a cable operator. Of course, there are also a lot of issues concerning standards.

For the full scoop on the FCC's initiative:
- see this write-up in the WSJ (sub. req.)

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