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FCC Approves More Chinese DTAs

Coship Electronics Co. Ltd. has become the second China-based vendor to obtain the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 's blessing to sell relatively simple Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices with integrated security to U.S. cable operators.

The FCC this week granted Coship a three-year waiver for two standard-def DTA models -- the N5500C and the N6600C -- holding that they are no more advanced than the boxes from Evolution Digital LLC the Commission originally approved last June. The waiver allows Coship to sidestep the July 2007 integrated security ban, and gives it the green light to hunt down cable deals. (See FCC Believes in Evolution-ary DTAs.)

Coship hasn't revealed much about the security it's using in its newly blessed devices, including whether it intends to use the "privacy mode" that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has lit up in markets such as Seattle and Portland, Ore. However, earlier this month Coship did strike a deal to integrate Latens Systems Ltd. 's conditional access systems and middleware products. (See Latens & Coship Partner and Comcast Lights Up DTA Encryption .)

Coship marks the latest in a string of vendors to obtain waivers for DTAs, which are one-way, digital-to-analog boxes that Comcast, Mediacom Communications Corp. , and others are using to support analog reclamation projects. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Nagravision SA , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH), and Pace plc are among the vendors that have obtained similar hall passes from the FCC. (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan , Huawei Gets Box Break at the FCC , and FCC Approves DTAs From Moto, Cisco, Thomson & Pace.)

Coship hasn't announced any deals for the standard-def DTAs, but it has signaled a desire to develop a high-definition version for CableOne .

CableOne identified Coship among a batch of suppliers that have thrown their hats into the ring to develop low-cost HD-DTAs that the MSO intends to deploy initially in Dyersburg, Tenn., and possibly in other systems if it can get the FCC to play ball. (See Cable ONE Looks to Pump Up HD-DTA Volumes and Cable ONE Seeks $50 HD Box.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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