Roku CEO Anthony Wood made a rather surprising statement on April 21, which saw the online-streaming company founder disagreeing with FCC's set-top box plan, instead of supporting the mandate.
The Federal Communications Commission wants to put an end to the traditional cable boxes that are rented to consumers by companies like Comcast and Time Warner. However, Wood sees no reason for FCC to regulate the process when cable is already adapting to the pressures of Internet broadband and online streaming companies.
The Roku head says he knows that while the FCC plan sounds like a sweet deal for companies like his own, it would ultimately lead to reduced choice and increased costs for consumers and, more importantly, less innovation. It would also open the door for players like Google to swoop in with their own line of set-top boxes without having to enter business agreements with the likes of ABC, HBO, or FOX, or even having to pay the video distributors.
Dropping Google's name is no coincidence as Wood mentions the technology leader five times in his op-ed, saying the company would capitalize on this decision to enter "consumers' homes on the back of other people's content rights with the ultimate goal of offering its own pay TV services."
His key argument was that soon every bit of content created for television will reach the viewers through a host of competing platforms, of which the cable company will be one such option. This questions the FCC's decision to completely lift the cable TV set-top boxes, which would only hurt these companies and make life easier for the hardware companies that want to bypass the process of getting apps and making business deals.
Wood was the first one to voice an opinion on the issue, but very soon the general view should be disclosed as April 22 was the last day for the of the first round of comments about the FCC's decision.