FCC’s “Unlock the box” would free cable boxes from providers

The FCC says the average cable consumer spends an average of $231 a year in cable box rental fees.

Under a new proposal, that money would go back in the cable buyer’s pocket.

The FCC voted Thursday to "unlock the box" – to allow consumers to decide which cable box they want rather than being stuck with the one offered to them by their cable provider.

The FCC also cited a study saying that, since 1994, the price of set-top boxes has risen by 185 percent, while the cost of other technology such as cell phones and computers has dropped by 90 percent.

The new proposal would give options for consumers looking for competitive devices or apps to access their television content.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, who was one of the outspoken voices on the matter, addressed the FCC’s proposal on Twitter.

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