In this week’s address, the President discussed important steps the Administration has taken to encourage competition – the most essential ingredient in a healthy free market.
One industry that’s ripe for change is cable TV. Right now, 99 percent of cable and satellite TV customers rent set-top boxes from their providers. According to one survey, this costs households an average of more than $230 per year. We spend some $20 billion to rent these devices. While we have almost unlimited choice in what we watch on television, from traditional programming to online content, there’s next to no competition to build a better, user-friendly product that allows you to easily access all this content in one place. So most consumers just rent whatever the cable company offers. Because we have to. That means companies have little incentive to innovate. As a consequence, we need multiple devices and controllers to access content from different sources. That makes no sense.