Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox

The Federal Communications Commission has moved forward on a plan to help break up the Big Cable chokehold on the cable and broadband video marketplace. It has proposed allowing consumers to access the programming they pay for on the device or app of their choice.

This could save consumers billions in rental fees. It would mean that device manufacturers and developers would not need to ask cable companies for permission before they can reach consumers. It would also make it easier for programmers and content creators to reach viewers without going through the cable gatekeeper.

Sign our letter below to tell the FCC to support consumers, competition, innovators, and diverse content creators.

Petition signatures will be submitted to the public docket at the FCC. Your name, city, state, and zip code are required by the FCC for submission. We will not share this information with anyone else.


 Dear Chairman Wheeler,

Cable subscribers pay an estimated $231 per year renting clunky, often outdated set-top boxes from cable companies. That’s a whopping $20 billion a year Big Cable companies collect from their customers on devices alone.

Meanwhile, Big Cable’s chokehold on the set-top box market prevents competitors from selling devices with the features users want, such as combining cable and online content in one seamless interface. Millions of viewers access video primarily through their cable boxes, meaning that thousands of creators are unable to reach them.

Big Cable has too much control over the TV experience. Your proposal would significantly reduce consumer fees and would remove substantial barriers for creators and innovators. The Commission should move quickly to adopt an order that gives viewers the ability to use the devices and apps of their choice to watch TV.

Who's signing

319 SIGNATURES
500 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 289 reactions

  • signed 2016-07-02 19:56:35 -0400
    Jim Stellick
  • signed 2016-05-18 14:44:17 -0400
    We live in a moderate to bad over-the-air digital TV reception area despite getting three adjacent out-of-market major networks (two out-of-state from Augusta, GA and Charlotte, NC and one in-state of Columbia, SC) and most of the major networks we get over-the-air are about 50-110 miles from where we live. It’s impossible to get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX on an indoor antenna at my location, just PBS sadly. My mom isn’t ready to become a Cord Cutter yet because she loves to watch WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, Shadowhunters, Chrisley Knows Best, Cops, and Vikings. It’s a shame we can’t get out-of-market in-state local networks from Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC markets on DIRECTV because my town of Greenwood, SC is in the Greenville, SC/Asheville, NC market. The stations in my home market tells irrelevant North Carolina/Georgia out-of-state news besides in-state South Carolina ones. The TV stations in Columbia and Charleston markets does 100% relevant in-state South Carolina news. Watching newscasts from Charleston online at a TV station’s website is NOT THE SAME as watching it on TV. During the commercial breaks, you see a TV station logo with WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK on the bottom instead of real commercial breaks, they don’t do syndicated/network programming online, just local news sadly. Also the Network Non-Duplication and Syndicated Exclusivity Rules are 100% flawed and needs to be eliminated for good…Sorry NAB! Why the exclusivity rules need to be eliminated? It’s a thing of the 20th century past, and doesn’t reflect today’s standards in the 21st century digital, internet, and social media world. We want to watch out-of-market in-state ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW and others in its entirety instead of blacking out syndicated and network programming hours. Our DIRECTV bill is unfortunately $145 a month and we have two HD receivers. One regular, and one HD-DVR. We need more choices and of course we also have two AmazonFireTV sticks for more content. We need to break the barriers and give us more choice, more freedom, and the broadcast networks from in-state out-of-market that desires us. The Nielsen’s DMA system is also 100% flawed as well. Do the right thing #UnlockTheBox!
  • signed 2016-05-03 22:52:57 -0400
    I would like to say as a previous cable tech I for one would like to say it might be easier to just have the tech companies that build the boxes to have an unlocked version that would just need a cable card from any cable company. Most boxes nowadays have a cable card from the builder already locked in them. If the cable companies would allow any box on their network like the Canadian cable companies we wouldn’t have this issue.
  • signed 2016-05-03 19:44:25 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-28 14:58:45 -0400
    The outrageous charges for these boxes and fees for poor service are a spot on the FCC! It’s long overdue that the FCC do its job of protecting the AVERAGE American and not the fat cat CEO’s of the cable/television companies. The virtual monopolies by these companies would cause Teddy Roosevelt to shudder.
  • signed 2016-04-28 13:04:30 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-22 22:41:54 -0400
    What if wireless phone carriers required its customers to use the carriers’ phone only, and forced its customers to pay a rental fee for it? It would be a stagnant market lacking the enormous innovation we actually see today. Why should cable TV operators be allowed to impose such restrictions on its customers? I think the public will benefit greatly from larger set top box markets and the inevitable innovation that will follow from competition. Accordingly, please support any order that would allow customers to use any compliant device with their cable TV subscription.
  • signed 2016-04-22 14:02:50 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-22 13:34:55 -0400
    Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • @DiGiMiKE79 tweeted link to this page. 2016-04-22 13:34:51 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-22 13:33:31 -0400
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-22 12:45:29 -0400
    Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • signed via 2016-04-22 12:44:14 -0400
    Unlock the box , it’s not fair to consumers
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-22 12:29:30 -0400
    Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-22 12:04:47 -0400
    Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • signed 2016-04-22 12:03:12 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-22 11:59:02 -0400
    It is time for the set top box monopoly to end. Consumers must cease being required to pay an average additional $230/yr ON TOP OF the already exorbitant prices for pay television. The fact of the matter is you can no longer pay for TV and get the signal without an additional piece of equipment in a large majority of this country. That piece of equipment to view that signal should be under my control and give me an experience I want, if I desire a different experience than the provider offers. It should not involve a $15/mo mandatory user interface shoved down my throat trying to upsell services, favour in-house VOD content benefiting solely the TV provider, and completely ignore/exclude ‘competing’ OTT services that I might already pay for in addition.


    Apps are not the answer, you have no control over the experience and even less freedom of choice. Apps are the next generation locked in set top box.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-22 11:57:53 -0400
    Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • @techtimeruuu tweeted link to this page. 2016-04-22 11:57:49 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-22 11:57:19 -0400
    Let us choose where to watch Live Tv
  • signed 2016-04-22 11:47:19 -0400
  • @klown07 tweeted link to this page. 2016-04-22 11:45:33 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-22 11:44:36 -0400
    Unlock the Box Big Boi
  • signed 2016-04-21 15:33:33 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-20 10:58:43 -0400
    Comcast has set the example for other greedy corp. & now Comcast is a huge conglomerate with resources & lawyers used to slow reform or stop it altogether. It’s like being drowned & trying to survive the ocean of water coming at us from every direction! There is no help or protection from companies who break Anti Trust. Where is the Public Trust?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-04-18 20:13:24 -0400
    Clip Time-Warner's wings... Tell the FCC to #UnlockTheBox for a fair & competitive video marketplace!
  • signed 2016-04-16 11:29:15 -0400
    My latest television purchase received all the cable channels I needed. Then COX required me to rent their box, and new channel remote control. I lost manual control. Plus it requires additional electric power. Seem to me it is just a filter to filter more money to COX. VERY upset over this.
  • signed 2016-04-10 05:13:55 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-06 10:29:54 -0400
  • signed 2016-04-05 11:42:58 -0400