& 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.-á 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?-á
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.-á 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.-á 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.-á 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?-á

Everyone would be better off if there was an "evisceration" of CableCARDS altogether and cable could move on with downloadable security and DRMs.-á
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 -ásystem 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."-á
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
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE 5G World Highlights

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcases its leading 5G innovations at 5G World in London.
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
Verizon Warns of $500M Hit From Yahoo Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/16/2017
ISP Startup Targets Disruption in US Suburbs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/15/2017
Can Comcast Beat Customer Hate With a Private Cloud?
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 6/15/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
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.