& cplSiteName &

ACA Backs Cable ONE Hi-Def Box Plan

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/2/2008
50%
50%

The American Cable Association (ACA) , a pressure group that represents more than 1,000 small and mid-sized MSOs, is throwing its political weight behind Cable One Inc. 's plan to pursue an all-digital migration led by simple, one-way boxes capable of outputting high-definition television (HDTV) signals.

The ACA formalized its support via a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last Friday (Nov. 28) that urges the Commission to approve a set-top waiver request Cable ONE placed in late October for its Dyersburg, Tenn., cable system.

The spectrum freed up by those devices, the ACA claimed, will serve the public interest because it would enable Cable ONE (and potentially other, similar MSOs) to go all-digital affordably, and to use that newfound digital spectrum to broaden their HD programming lineups or offer speedier Docsis 3.0-based Internet services.

"Unfortunately, for many of ACA's members, the digital set-top boxes that are required under existing rules are just too expensive to deploy," said ACA president and CEO Matthew M. Polka, referring to an FCC set-top security mandate that went into effect last July. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven' and Boxing Up 'Seven-Oh-Seven' .)

"The use of HD ADDs [HD-capable all-digital devices] gives cable operators a cost-effective way to transition to an all-digital network. Cable ONE's Dyersburg system faces this challenge, and we urge the Commission to grant the waiver it needs to best serve Cable ONE's customers," he added.

As first reported by Cable Digital News, Cable ONE is seeking a waiver for a new breed of low-cost, one-way HD ADDs with embedded security for use in the operator's system in Dyersburg. If the waiver is granted, the operator has pledged to migrate the system to all-digital within one year of obtaining the waiver, and to use freed up capacity to offer a minimum of 50 HD networks to customers at no additional service charge beyond what's being paid for the service tier currently containing the analog or standard-definition version of those networks. (See Cable ONE Seeks Hi-Def DTA Waiver .)

In June, before filing its official waiver request, Cable ONE urged the FCC to consider updating its set-top waiver rules to allow operators to use simple, one-way, digital-to-analog converters capable of supporting HD services. The MSO, which serves about 700,000 basic subs, argued that such a device should be allowed under the waiver rules because HD no longer qualifies as an "advanced" service. (See CEA Attacks Cable One HD Plan and HD No Longer an 'Advanced' Service?)

Although HD ADDs are not yet generally available, Cable ONE maintains that Evolution Broadband LLC and other vendors can produce the equipment in volume for as little as $50 per unit.

If the waiver is approved, it could pave the way for Cable ONE and other MSOs to get more bang out of their limited capacity systems (i.e., those with 550 MHz of spectrum) and product hi-def lineups that can exceed, or at least rival, those offered by DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)

The CEA's riposte
As expected, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) isn't letting this waiver request proceed without a fight.

In a filing of its own, the CEA argued that the "mere 'increased availability' of an existing service, high-definition programming, does not necessitate a waiver." The Association added that the FCC has a sound basis for excluding HD devices from "limited-functionality" waivers because previously granted waivers are "transitional expedients granted in the context of the digital transition." (See Son of 'Waiver Central' .)

Furthermore, the CEA said Cable ONE "appears to be requesting a permanent waiver," which is not permitted under the original FCC order.

The CEA also contends that Cable ONE's waiver request "undermines" the FCC's attempt at building a retail market for two-way devices that separate out the security function via the CableCARD.

"For cable operators like Cable ONE now to deploy new set-top boxes with proprietary integrated security would be a great leap backwards for the Commission and for the goal of competitive availability," the CEA said.

Cable ONE addressed that issue in its waiver request, noting that the MSO would continue to support removable CableCARDs and all compatible electronic devices (digital set-tops and TVs) purchased by consumers at retail outlets and on all "high-functionality" (i.e., two-way) devices offered for lease by Cable ONE.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
MLBAM: Live Sports Streaming Will Be Big

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


MLB Advanced Media EVP and CTO Joe Inzerillo explains why live sports streaming will take off over the next few years despite major technical challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
Xilinx Disruptive Technology Breakthrough for 5G Wireless

3|30|17   |     |   (0) comments


Xilinx has integrated multi-giga-sample RF data converters into its 16nm MPSoCs devices for the industry's first All Programmable RFSoC, eliminating the need for discrete ADCs and DACs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Turkcell Challenges Turkey's Current TV Market

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Baris Zavaroglu, TV and rntertainment business director of Turkcell, explains Turkcell's strategy in elevating the small and uncertain TV market in Turkey.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Altibox’s Infrastructure Synergy Strategy Reduces Deployment Costs

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Thomas Skjelbred, CEO of Altibox, on how to improve efficiency and reduce deployment coast through infrastructure synergy in Norway.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ismail Butun on the Changing Role of Turkcell

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ismail Butun, chief marketing officer of Turkcell, explains the importance of video and mobile services for the future of the company.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Emir Halilovic on Trends of Cloudification

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Emir Halilovic of IDC CEMA discusses the future and direction of cloudification. Also, the all-cloud approach taken by Huawei and others in the industry.
LRTV Custom TV
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
BBWF 2016: Orange Poland's Next-Gen Central Office

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Introduction to Orange Poland's legacy next-generation central office solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Viavi at OFC 2017

3|28|17   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto reports from the Viavi booth at OFC and gets an update on the 400G testing market from Tom Fawcett, VP and GM of LAB & Production. At this year's event, Viavi won three awards from Lightwave magazine and showcased an interoperability demo with Ethernet Alliance and Finisar.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
Ericsson Tightens Focus, Warns of $1.7B Q1 Hit
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/28/2017
WiCipedia: Supergirls, No More Excuses & Media Monitoring
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.