Comcast, NCTA join all-out reply comment assault on FCC set-top proposal

In one of the most all-out offensives launched at the FCC's "Unlock the Box" set-top regulatory proposal, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and the NCTA each filed searing reply commentary to the agency.

A day after AT&T (NYSE: T) referred to the NPRM as a "radical unbundling scheme," the National Cable Telecommunications Association ramped up the rhetoric even further, calling the proposal a "radial re-invention of the video marketplace."

The cable lobbying org then listed the forces that have gathered against the proposal.

"Privacy advocates have agreed that the FCC's proposal to deny consumers their statutory privacy rights under the Communications Act and replace them with unenforceable self-certification is 'inconsistent' with reality,'" the NCTA said. "Democratic and Republican co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus have agreed… Creators of content have explained how the proposal violates the rights enshrined in the Copyright Clause of the Constitution.

"Studios, networks, independent and diverse content creators, music providers, and intellectual property scholars have demonstrated that granting a 'zero-rate compulsory license' for commercial exploitation of their works by unlicensed third parties violates the 'ability to choose whom to license their works to and on what terms,' which 'is a key component of copyright owners' property interests,'" NCTA added.

In its own reply comments, Comcast said the only companies and groups backing the proposal are the same ones who supported the so-called "AllVid" solution five years ago. Comcast called the proposal an "unnecessary and costly technology mandate that would likely be obsolete before it could even be implemented.

The MSO added that the NPRM "disregards copyright protections and licensing agreements; threatens to halt the unbridled innovation that has permeated the video marketplace for years; requires new in-home equipment; and strips consumers of privacy protections and legal remedies."

Related articles:
AT&T: FCC set-top proposal is a 'radical unbundling scheme'
Sen. Hatch worried about copyright protections in FCC's set-top proposal
Sheriff Wheeler says the cable industry's tail light is broken