Cable Tech

Cablevision Holds Firm

3:05 PM -- July 1 is sizing up to be an important day in U.S. cable history. It's the day that five of the biggest six "incumbent" MSOs have pledged, as part of that "binding" memorandum of understanding negotiated with Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), to provide network support for tru2way middleware and to support the platform in the headends serving all their digital systems. Of that group, Charter Communications Inc. has another year to get ready. (See Revealed: The Tru2way MOU.)

But, for Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), the date means a bit more than that -- it's when the MSO is expected to start commercial use of a downloadable security system in its defined "Phase I" areas, which include parts of its Long Island and New Jersey systems and comprise one-third of the MSO's total footprint.

The July 1 date is just one of several that were contingent on Cablevision obtaining an 18-month waiver extention from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) attempted to prevent. (See Cablevision Seeks Extended Security Waiver, Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension , and Cablevision Waiver Catches More Heat .)

Cablevision fully intends to hit that deadline, according to a declaration from SVP of corporate engineering and technology James Blackley that was signed and dated June 15.

Last month, Cablevision placed an initial order for set-tops that use the downloadable system, which is based on the NDS Ltd. "key ladder" (K-LAD). (See Order Up! )

The MSO must pay a penalty of $5,000 per day if it fails to hit any deadlines that were contingent on its receiving a waiver. Although Cablevision intends to continue to support CableCARD security, all new set-tops deployed by the MSO must incorporate the new downloadable system by the end of 2010.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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