Digital Daily Dozen 2/18/16

Markey on Set-Tops: We Shall Prevail (Broadcasting & Cable) 

Sen. Ed Markey says he is confident that cable operators will vigorously fight the FCC’s set-top proposal, but that, as with the net network neutrality rules, they will fail. Markey joined with Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman and over-the-top content creators on a press conference.   

Nielsen Responds to comScore Rating Plans (Broadcasting & Cable)

Nielsen responded to the plans announced by comScore to roll out cross-platform measurement this year by saying its ratings are the only ones available now and represent the gold standard for the industry. “Nielsen has the only total audience measurement, comparable across all screens, available to the market now.”  

Apple Letter on iPhone Security Draws Muted Tech Industry Response (NY Times)    

After a federal court ordered Apple to help unlock an iPhone used by an attacker in a December mass shooting in San Bernardino, Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a passionate letter warning of far-reaching implications beyond the case. The response from other technology companies? A mix of carefully calibrated support and crickets.   

Inside the FBI’s encryption battle with Apple (The Guardian)

For months, the FBI searched for a compelling case that would force Apple to weaken iPhone security – and then the San Bernardino shooting happened.  This carefully planned legal battle has been months in the making, as the government and Apple try to settle whether national security can dictate how Silicon Valley writes computer code. 

When is Wi-Fi blocking justified?  (Network World- Commentary) 

Millions of economists parse the Federal Reserve Bank’s public statements on the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, only a few thousand observers concern themselves with the FCC’s exploits. This is a missed opportunity: the FCC is every bit as fascinating and confusing as the Fed is enigmatic.   

First Click: This $1 chip will connect your things to the city for free (The Verge) 

The founders of The Things Network (TTN) are offering a subscription-free, community-owned LoRaWAN network that now blankets Amsterdam, and what follows might be any number of possible solutions enabled by the diverse and unimaginably vast array of wireless and battery-operated things coming to our cities.   

Pay-TV Industry Blasts Set-Top Proposals (Philly)

The pay-TV industry lobbied Tuesday against a proposal to open cable set-top box standards, blasting it as a giveaway to West Coast technology companies that could take years to implement and burden consumers with extra costs. The FCC is expected to take its first vote on new set-top rules in Washington on Thursday.   


AT&T is phasing out the U-verse TV service as it pushes new customers to newly acquired DirecTV, a sign the company is giving up on once-heralded plans to compete head-on with cable TV through phone lines. AT&T has stopped building U-verse set-top boxes and is nudging prospective customers toward its satellite unit.   

Scaled-back broadband proposal would build state network piece by piece (WV Gazette) 

In the face of fierce opposition from Frontier Communications and cable companies, West Virginia state lawmakers have scrapped plans to build a 2,500-mile high-speed Internet network all at once in West Virginia and instead seek to construct the fiber network in segments.     

Uganda’s Communications Agency Blocks Social Media on Voting Day (Bloomberg)

Uganda’s communications regulator said it blocked some social-media platforms to stop further campaigning during presidential elections in the East African nation. “It’s a breach of the law to campaign on election day,” Godfrey Mutabazi, executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission, said in an interview.   

Many small TV stations may soon be forced off the air (LA Times)   

Many small, low-power TV stations, which often broadcast foreign-language and religious programming, soon could be silenced — knocked off the air involuntarily by the federal government with no compensation to their owners or alternatives for their often low-income viewers. The stations are the potential collateral damage.   

FCC to consider new TV set-top box rules (USA Today) 

In the age of apps, the FCC is set to wage a battle for the future of the old-school pay TV set-top box. The commission is set to consider whether rules should be crafted that would require cable, satellite and fiberoptic TV providers to allow a new wave of third-party devices (and software-based apps) that consumers could use instead. 

ESPN president: No standalone ESPN soon (USA Today)    

The top Walt Disney Co. boss has said that ESPN would eventually follow in HBO’s footsteps and start selling the channel direct to consumers. But John Skipper, the president of Disney’s ESPN, isn’t ready to shift the sales model–yet. He reiterated several times that he had no interest in going down that road–for now.