The CEA hasn't altered its argument much. In its Federal Communications Commission (FCC)filing Friday, the CEA argues that the FCC needs to instead "identify a new, secure, open, and national standard interface between MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] services and retail device." The CEA and its cohorts have been urging the FCC to move ahead on AllVid, a possible successor to the CableCARD that would be applied to all U.S. pay-TV providers. The CEA fears that the security chip in Charter's plan will support just one conditional access system, removing any notion of device portability with other service providers. Replies are due to the FCC by Dec. 10, but Charter has already stressed that it intends to continue to support retail devices that rely on the CableCARD. (See Google & Friends Try to Keep AllVid Alive and Cable Lobby Gripes About Google, AllVid .)
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) unleashed some initiatives in Kansas City late last week, seemingly to help counter the threat of Google Fiber. Among them, TW Cable launched a Wi-Fi network that is freely accessible to residential cable modem subscribers (for those who subscribe to its "Standard" tier and above) and to local area businesses customers. Non-subs can tap in for a fee. TW Cable has deployed about 8,000 hot spots in Kansas City; New York City; Charlotte, N.C., and Los Angeles, its largest deployment so far. Here's TW Cable's Wi-Fi coverage map, which also includes hot spots operated by its MSO roaming partners. (See Google Fiber Starts to Hook Up Customers and TW Cable Smartens Up Its Wi-Fi.)
In K.C., the MSO also launched Starter, a low-cost 5Mbit/s (downstream) broadband service that will run $9.95 per month -- a price that's guaranteed to stay in place for two years. The MSO estimates that 85,000 students in 190 schools in the area are eligible for the tier.