FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. (credit: NCTA)

Just before yesterday's vote to boost competition in the cable set-top box market, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler showed the audience a letter that cable lobbyists sent to the FCC in March 2010.

At the time, the FCC was preparing its National Broadband Plan, which among many other things recommended new rules "to ensure a competitive and innovation video set-top box market." The National Cable & Telecommunications Association wrote to then-Chairman Julius Genachowski urging him not to enact any such rules. Genachowski never did.

But what Wheeler pointed out is that the letter said customers should be able to watch their TV channels on set-top boxes that aren't rented to them by the cable company.

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