Cable Tech

The Waiver Wire

1:40 PM -- More video service providers are trying to get in while the gettin's good when it comes to applying for or gaining special set-top waivers from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) .

Interestingly enough, none of the most recent activity has to do with digital terminal adapters (DTAs), which are simple one-way digital-to-analog channel zappers that lately have been the object of many a waiver sought. (See DTA Waiver Mania, Cisco, Moto Go for DTA Waivers , and FCC Believes in Evolution-ary DTAs.)

The latest from the waiver wire:

  • Western Wisconsin Communications LLC is seeking a waiver, "on an expedited" basis, for two digital set-tops made by Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT): the DCT700 and the DCT2000. The DCT700 is an all-digital model; the DCT2000 is a hybrid analog/digital box.

    WWC wants the waiver so it can start an all-digital migration based on these low-cost boxes, which happen to use integrated security, a no-no under a ban that went into effect in July 2007. WWC, a cable co-op that serves 6,200 subs in 20 rural communities in the state, promised to complete the upgrade by June 2010 if the waiver is granted. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

  • RCN Corp. today scored a waiver extension that will allow the competitive cable overbuilder to continue using the Moto-made DCT700 until Dec. 31, 2009. RCN is also using the box for an all-digital effort it calls "Project Analog Crush." However, the FCC granted the waiver due to "financial hardships" faced by RCN, which is still racked with negative cash flow and a high debt load. (See RCN Posts Q1 and RCN Almost Done 'Crushing' Analog .)

  • The FCC also awarded WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) , another overbuilder, a waiver extension through the end of this year, citing the company's deteriorating financial condition. (See Weakened WOW Wants Another Waiver.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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