& cplSiteName &

Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/29/2013
50%
50%

Charter Communications Inc. continued its fight for a special set-top waiver at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Monday, telling the agency that it would be prohibitively expensive for the MSO to develop boxes that can support both the CableCARD and a new, proposed downloadable video security platform. Charter is seeking a two-year waiver that would let it deploy set-top boxes that run the new downloadable security alongside its legacy security system simultaneously. Charter wants to run its current security system as an integrated component (rather than via a removable CableCARD) while it rolls out a new downloadable platform that will serve as a key cog of Charter's broader all-digital transition. (See Charter Sets All-Digital Path for Video.) Charter needs the waiver to sidestep a July 2007 FCC mandate that bans cable operators from deploying set-tops with integrated security. Cablevision Systems Corp. sought and secured a similar FCC waiver in 2009, but the FCC has yet to act on Charter's request. (See Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension and Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.) Charter is largely modeling its plan around Cablevision's new video platform, which relies on a downloadable security system based on the NDS (now Cisco Systems Inc.) "key ladder" that currently runs on Samsung Corp.-made boxes. (See Charter's Video Plan Good News for Cisco, Samsung.) Big redesign costs
In a filing with the FCC, Charter argued that it would be saddled with "significant" costs if it did not get the waiver and was forced to develop and deploy set-tops that support both the CableCARD and the new downloadable security system. The device for which Charter is seeking a waiver is based on a non-U.S. set-top with integrated security that has added the downloadable security piece. Charter estimates that redesign costs would cause the price of CableCARD/downloadable security combo boxes to run 40 percent higher versus the cost of the device for which the MSO is seeking the waiver. The cost of the CableCARD module and the interface in its current boxes alone runs $40 to $50 -- meaning the components would "add $40 million of unnecessary costs for every million set-top boxes," Charter noted. Charter says it's prepared to begin the project as soon as a waiver is granted, but stressed that it will be unable to deploy downloadable security "for the foreseeable future" without one because it lacks access to an affordable set-top that can support both security systems. The operator estimated that such a product would take at least six months to design. Charter's request is getting some static. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), for example, is urging the FCC to quash more waivers and instead pursue a proposed CableCARD successor called AllVid that would be applied not just to cable, but to telco and satellite TV operators as well. (See CEA Tries to Kill Charter's Video Plan.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/31/2013 | 2:19:21 AM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
Hanging on by a thread.- CEA and the others in the AllVid Tech Alliance are still urging the FCC to turn it into a formal rulemaking effort, but the FCC hasn't made any decision either way. JB
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2013 | 9:17:21 PM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
AllVid! Is that thing still alive? Anyone know the status?-
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/30/2013 | 8:48:47 PM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
Well, these filings are full of lawyer-speak ;)
But, yes, i think the cable industry would agree with the notion that doing away with CableCARDs and all mandates tied to separable security would be a good thing... for them.- I just don't see the CEA going along with that; they're still pushing the AllVid idea, even if it would seem that the idea is pushing up daisies at this point. JB
Cooper10
50%
50%
Cooper10,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/30/2013 | 6:42:10 PM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
I believe NCTA has demonstrated that CableCard has saddled the cable industry with more than $1 billion in unnecessary incremental costs, so not sure why the FCC would care about another $40M in costs for Charter.- Bigger issue is that CableCard is simply a failed prescriptive approach to try to micro-manage an industry, yet the FCC refuses to acknowledge the failure.- I'm sure All Vid would be totally different...(not)
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/30/2013 | 5:31:07 PM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
A "canard"? What, are we talking like we're in 19th Century France?-

Everyone would be better off if there was an "evisceration" of CableCARDS altogether and cable could move on with downloadable security and DRMs.-
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/30/2013 | 2:44:02 PM
re: Charter Bemoans CableCARD Costs
The CEA responded in kind, arguing that Charter's proposal is "simply a canard," that neither of the systems proposed by the MSO would be complaint, and that Charter wants the waiver to simply sidestep the FCC's separable security rules. The CEA still has issues that Charter's downloadable -system requires a system-specific chip that uses "non-downloadable elements" that can't be changed and that it "affords access only to a single conditional access system."-
Charter has already countered that the proposed downloadable system would use the same "commodity chips" that Cablevision now uses for its downloadable system and that the silicon can support other conditional access systems.
The CEA also reiterated what it said in its original opposition to the Charter request: that an "agency must or should [not] tolerate evisceration of a rule by waivers."
The CEA letter to the FCC is here: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/docum...
Well, the ball's back in the FCC's courtGǪ
JB
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 Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Will Accelerate the Spread of the Video Business

2|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


What is the future of the booming video business? What changes will happen to the video industry chain in the future? Hunter Hu, VP of Huawei Video Product Line, shares his viewpoints and explains how Huawei can be an enabler and accelerate the spread of the video business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frost & Sullivan's Jonas Zelba on Going Beyond Connectivity

2|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


Telecom operators across the globe are trying to understand what can they offer beyond connectivity. Operators are already introducing new and innovative services but they are faced with challenges due to unclear business models. Jonas highlights that no one operator can offer all the services itself. Operators in the Middle East should look within their ecosystem ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IDC's Paul Black on Cloudification

2|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


Paul Black from IDC shares his insights on how cloudification is expected to combile all aspects of digital transformation.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Industry Expert Michael Howard Talks About Cloud Native

2|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cloud Native is a really nice term and a lot of people are using it. But most of them have their own definition of what Cloud Native means. Michael Howard offers his take on the terminology.
LRTV Custom TV
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
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
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Cloud Rains on HPE Earnings
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/24/2017
Verizon Fixed 5G Tests to Top 3Gbit/s?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
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. Well 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.