The Friday Five

Here's our quasi-weekly look at a handful of other stuff that happened in the world of cable this week that bears sharing or repeating:

  • Guess what? Free Press isn't all that impressed about reports that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is noodling an Internet service consumption cap/quota in the range of 250 gigabytes per month as part of a larger plan to migrate to a "protocol agnostic" bandwidth management platform. (See Comcast Caps Coming? ) Free Press, which has been all over Comcast for the MSO's throttling of some upstream peer-to-peer traffic, said such caps amount to "a 'band-aid' for congestion problems" and shouldn't be viewed as a long-term solution. "Though the proposed caps are relatively high, today's bandwidth hogs are tomorrow's average Internet user," argued Free Press policy director Ben Scott. (See Comcast Cap Dubbed 'Band-Aid'.)

  • We may have our first true DTA (digital terminal adapter) sighting. Multichannel News reports that Massillon Cable TV Inc. plans to use thousands of simple converter boxes distributed by Evolution Digital and manufactured by Homecast for an all-digital push. Comcast, as we've mentioned, also plans to use DTA devices to fuel its all-digital strategy, but has not announced a vendor partner. (See Comcast Confirms Digital Dongle Project.) And from the looks of the Evolution Digital device, it seems more like a small set-top than that dongle-looking, conceptual digital-to-analog adapter Pace Micro Technology showed off a few years ago.

  • Don't look now, but the MovieBeam project isn't completely dead yet. Dar Capital Limited reportedly is trying to buy the scraps of the video-on-demand service for a paltry $2.25 million.

  • Following an earlier programmer-led lawsuit, C-SPAN, Discovery Networks, The Weather Channel, TV One, A&E, and Scripps Networks, filed a complaint with an appeals court claiming that dual must-carry rules, set to become effective after the digital TV transition, violate the First Amendment and overstep the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's authority. (See FCC OKs Dual TV Carriage Rules.)

  • And one other financial detail to add to Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s planned WiFi rollout. (See Cablevision High on WiFi.) The MSO expects to spend a total of $350 million on the two-year buildout. Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge disclosed the amount during Thursday's morning call, but, timing being everything, my Internet connection to the event stream glitched when he mentioned it.

Until next week…

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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