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 Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (0) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Add SmartSense to Make Your Network Ready for 4K

10|27|14   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


To make current networks ready for the coming 4K TV challenges, Huawei SmartSense solution will conveniently add experience and operation capabilities to boost telcos' future business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
NetMatrix: Orchestrate the SDN & NFV World

10|27|14   |   4:11   |   (0) comments


Orchestrator is important in SDN/NFV world to make Telcom network automate, open and efficient. NetMatrix, as Huawei SDN/NFV orchestrator solution, has been in deployment and is showing its' value in real scenarios.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei FusionSphere Enabling ICT Transformation

10|27|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


Jeffrey Gao, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Huawei West Europe Region, talks about the company's future-oriented cloud strategy. Huawei is providing full portfolio of IT architecture and building an open cloud ecosystem with innovative cloud OS FusionSphere to support customers' ICT transformation.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: StorIT

10|27|14   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


An interview with Suren Vendantham of StorIT, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Optimus

10|27|14   |   3:14   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehul Goradia of Optimus, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Enterprise Solutions

10|27|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


An interview with Pouya Parsafar of Enterprise Solutions, a valued distributor partner with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: OETC

10|27|14   |   2:35   |   (0) comments


An interview with Saif Albadi, of the Oman Electricity Transmissions Company, a government utility in that company that partners with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: Jannah Hotels & Resorts

10|27|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehmeh Darwish, CEO of Jannah Hotel & Resorts, about his collaboration with Huawei across five hotels in the United Arab Emirates.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Commitment to the Middle East: GITEX 2014 Wrap-up

10|27|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with interviews with current Huawei customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei: GITEX 2014 Day 1 Highlights

10|27|14   |   2:58   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition), an annual computer and electronics trade show and conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Upcoming Live Events
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
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
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
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed