The CEA hasn't altered its argument much. In its Federal Communications Commission (FCC)filing Friday, the CEA argues that the FCC needs to instead "identify a new, secure, open, and national standard interface between MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] services and retail device." The CEA and its cohorts have been urging the FCC to move ahead on AllVid, a possible successor to the CableCARD that would be applied to all U.S. pay-TV providers. The CEA fears that the security chip in Charter's plan will support just one conditional access system, removing any notion of device portability with other service providers. Replies are due to the FCC by Dec. 10, but Charter has already stressed that it intends to continue to support retail devices that rely on the CableCARD. (See Google & Friends Try to Keep AllVid Alive and Cable Lobby Gripes About Google, AllVid .)
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) unleashed some initiatives in Kansas City late last week, seemingly to help counter the threat of Google Fiber. Among them, TW Cable launched a Wi-Fi network that is freely accessible to residential cable modem subscribers (for those who subscribe to its "Standard" tier and above) and to local area businesses customers. Non-subs can tap in for a fee. TW Cable has deployed about 8,000 hot spots in Kansas City; New York City; Charlotte, N.C., and Los Angeles, its largest deployment so far. Here's TW Cable's Wi-Fi coverage map, which also includes hot spots operated by its MSO roaming partners. (See Google Fiber Starts to Hook Up Customers and TW Cable Smartens Up Its Wi-Fi.)
In K.C., the MSO also launched Starter, a low-cost 5Mbit/s (downstream) broadband service that will run $9.95 per month -- a price that's guaranteed to stay in place for two years. The MSO estimates that 85,000 students in 190 schools in the area are eligible for the tier.
Would seem that CEA has its work cut out for it trying to get the FCC to cut down Charter's waiver request. Would seem hard for the Commission not to grant this to Charter after already granting it to Cablevision.
And we'll have to see if Charter will indeed go with the NDS (now Cisco) keyladder for their downloadable security system. NDS has insisted that it would license it and has claimed that other conditional access systems could work on the key ladder, though i have not seen it happen yet. If other MSOs go along with these sort of idea (there's been talk of a licensing authority for this), we could see a more common security platform that's a bit (okay, a lot) more elegant than the CableCARD... but it would still need some buy in from satellite and telco if it were to become something more cross-industry. JB
A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.