FCC votes on retail cable boxes

Expected date for set-top intro is September 2000

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is poised to vote today on a deadline for the introduction of cable set-top box sales in retail stores.

The deadline — expected to be September 2000 — is the product of compromise between the consumer electronics makers and the cable industry. Currently, cable systems have a monopoly on set-top boxes for their subscribers. Under the FCC’s direction, the retail boxes must be able to work in any cable system, in anywhere in the country.

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