Obama backs effort to give consumers options on cable boxes

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is supporting an effort to give consumers more choice when it comes to the cable boxes that control which television channels they watch.

Most TV subscribers lease boxes from their cable service provider. The Federal Communications Commission is pursuing new regulations giving consumers more options to buy elsewhere. Obama will formally back that effort Friday.

One of Obama's economic advisers, Jason Furman, says the administration sparingly weighs in on FCC rulemaking. When the president gets involved, Furman says the issue is of "real great importance in his mind to consumers, to competition and to the economy more broadly."

The White House says the average household pays $231 annually to rent cable boxes. While the cost of making boxes has gone down, consumers are paying more.