Whoa, nelly! The FCC and Congress actually think it's a revolutionary concept to allow cable subscribers select their content on a channel-by-channel basis.
Let's think about this.
iTunes already allows subscribers to download a single episode from a limited number of shows. You can't get any more a la carte than that. Not only do you get to select program-by-program (instead of channel-by-channel), but you can choose episode-by-episode (or even segment-by-segment if you like Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog). And when Apple releases its iPodHomeVideo, you'll be able to navigate iTunes using a menu on your TV and download episodes directly to your Apple DVR. Since you download them, you own them and you can watch them whenever you want.
Oh, so you want to watch an ep but not own it? Your local cable company already presents VOD for some series. For a smaller fee you can watch streaming video instead of owning the mp3. Once again, you can select episode-by-episode.
Technically, we're quickly heading toward a world where we create our own individual and personalized channels by selecting programs and episodes from multiple content providers. Yet politically, Congress wants to give us the ability to create our own cable company by selecting only the channels that we want. Why will Congress spend all this money investigating a solution that will be outdated even before it begins its investigation?
Nipsey Russell definitely scored big with this quote:
The opposite of pro is con;
That fact is clearly seen;
If progress means move forward,
Then what does Congress mean?