CEA: Put Box Waivers on Hold
Now that LUS, a municipally owned service provider, is seeking special dispensation for its integrated security IPTV set-top boxes, the CEA has renewed its call for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move ahead with a proposed rulemaking for a separable security approach that would apply to the entire spectrum of so-called MVPDs (Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors) -- whether they deliver digital video via QAM (as most cable MSOs do now), over satellite links, or via IP.
It's also urging the FCC to "postpone action" on individual waiver requests, including LUS's, until after new rules have been established. The CE lobby also cited a recent waiver extension awarded to Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), which the MSO said it needed it order to develop and deploy a downloadable conditional access system. The CEA, which has opposed Cablevision's plan from the start, is seeking a full Commission review into the matter. (See The CEA vs. Cablevision and Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension .)
Although the bulk of the U.S. cable industry is fairly well entrenched with CableCARDs as the primary method for removable set-top security, it's not exactly opposed to the idea the CEA is proposing. In fact, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has previously suggested that the FCC consider the development of a collaborative, "All-MVPD" system that would cover not just cable, but telcos and satellite TV service providers as well. (See Brenner Defends OpenCable and Verizon: No Way on tru2way .)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News
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