Light Reading
The US ban on set-tops with integrated security may have gone into effect, but this story is far from over

Waiver Fallout

Jeff Baumgartner
The Bauminator
Jeff Baumgartner
7/9/2007
50%
50%

The U.S. ban on set-tops with integrated security may have gone into effect on July 1, but this story is far from over.

As expected, cable interests were quick to chime in after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a last-minute "Omnibus" waiver to Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and a cadre of other service providers that are all-digital or pledged to be so by Feb. 17, 2009. (See Verizon & Others Get Their Waivers.)

"Unfortunately, under the FCC Media Bureau's decisions, once again big companies like Verizon are the winners, and small market cable companies and their consumers are the losers," said American Cable Association (ACA) president and CEO Matthew Polka, adding that small operators would be forced to charge $2 to $3 more per month for set-tops that use the CableCARD security platform.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) senior vice president Rob Stoddard added: "There's nothing in these decisions to stave off a $600 million set-top box tax likely to affect the great majority of cable customers while providing no benefit to consumers."

Meanwhile, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), still hot about the denial of its request for a waiver for certain models of low-end set-tops, issued a nastygram to the FCC on July 3, arguing it was "preposterous" that Verizon received a waiver while the cable MSO did not. To quote the letter:

Verizon is an enormous competitor, began building its video services from scratch during the period when the separate security requirement was in effect, knew full well what its obligations were under the Commission's rules... and yet apparently did nothing over the past three years to get boxes with separate security developed.


Giving Verizon a waiver "raises serious questions about the integrity of the waiver process," the MSO added, pointing out that Verizon's waiver covers low-end boxes through Dec. 31, 2009, and more advanced high-definition and digital video recorder boxes for a one-year period.

For its part, Verizon reportedly claimed it had ongoing discussion with the FCC about a waiver based on its going all-digital, although it did not appear to have much in the way of a Plan B in the works short of getting the all-important waiver. (See 'QIP' Quip? )

We might soon find out if Comcast's complaint turns into a favorable result for the MSO. Recall that Comcast is seeking full FCC review of the matter, but nothing has come of it yet. FCC chairman Kevin Martin has already said he intended to submit his vote before the July 1 deadline. (See Martin Rocks the Vote.)

In another interesting telco-related tidbit in the wake of the deadline, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) apparently believes its IP-based U-verse video service is immune to the ban on set-tops with integrated security.

Now that the CableCARD era is fully underway, we'll be keeping our eyes on eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) to see if any consumers take it upon themselves to remove those modules and sell them off to the highest bidder. But nothing doing so far.

But you can get your hands on a Motorola HD-DVR box (the pre-CableCARD kind) if you don't mind parting with at least a C-note. At last check, the bidding was holding steady at $115.01.

But buyer beware. Obtaining that box is one thing. Good luck getting it authorized to work on a cable system.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from The Bauminator
Don't expect anything more to pop for a while, but one analyst sees John Malone & Co. as the 'logical, ultimate acquirer of Ziggo' if the price is right
Cable operators will need to free up at least 24MHz of spectrum for Docsis 3.1. But why is that the magic number?
Liberty Media's rumored plan to snag a 25% stake in Charter for $2.5B could aid the MSO's M&A strategy
Top US cable operators lost 1.41 million video subs in 2012, but the bleeding continues to show signs of slowing in a saturated pay-TV market
Aereo streams its 'no cable required' tagline into the video world. Will consumers tune in to the message?
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed