Cisco Won't Join FCC's DTA Dance

10:40 AM -- Following Evolution Broadband LLC 's three-year blanket waiver for a limited-function digital terminal adapter (DTA) -- the first to be granted to a device maker (the others have gone to service providers) -- the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is encouraging other vendors to submit similar devices in order to keep things competitive. (See FCC Believes in Evolution-ary DTAs.)

But Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has a DTA of its own on the way, including a version outfitted for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s all-digital "Project Cavalry" tilt, says it doesn't plan to join the waiver fun. (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan and Comcast Expanding 'All-Digital' Domain .)

"We don't have any intentions to apply for an FCC waiver for the DTAs we are developing," a company official noted in an email to Cable Digital News late last week.

Of course, Evolution and Cisco are just two of a handful of vendors making DTAs, which are simple, one-way channel zappers that convert digital video signals to analog so older TV sets can display the image. Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453), and Pace Micro Technology are all supplying DTAs to Comcast. Mediacom Communications Corp. , meanwhile, has also revealed that it's starting to employ an analog-reclamation strategy using DTAs. (See Mediacom Gets Serious About Wideband.)

Motorola and Pace have not given a firm response about any waiver plans. Thomson elected not to comment on the matter. An official with Nagravision SA , however, said the company may try to seek a waiver for one of its lower-end digital boxes.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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