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Muni to Max Out on DTAs

3:45 PM -- The Frankfort Plant Board (FPB), a municipal provider in Kentucky with 17,000 video subscribers, is the latest cableco to take advantage of a three-year Federal Communications Commission (FCC) waiver that allows the use of Evolution Broadband LLC Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) boxes with integrated security from Conax AS . (See FCC Believes in Evolution-ary DTAs and Evolution Notches Another DTA Win.) FPB will use the one-way DTAs to fuel a bandwidth reclamation plan, as it's "running out of space on our 750 MHz system," giving it precious little headroom for video-on-demand (VoD) or Docsis 3.0 (its present, fastest cable modem tier maxes out at 8 Mbit/s downstream). FPB will start the deployment in October, expecting to eventually gain back as much as 300 MHz of spectrum. That, FPB says, will allow it to launch up to 60 additional HD services. The standard-def DTA is the low-end box offering from Evolution. It's also trying to get a waiver for an HD version and already has plans in place to offer a broadband-capable HD-DVR from TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), though Comporium Communications (so far) is the only operator to take Evolution up on it. (See Nagra, Evolution Seek DTA Waivers and TiVo Covers Its Cable Bases .) Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is also using DTAs by the truckload for its "Project Cavalry" initiative, though those boxes are currently being deployed without security. A measure of content protection could be activated with a firmware download, but that's not likely to happen unless one of its DTA suppliers -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Pace Micro Technology , Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453), or Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- is successful in getting waivers of its own. (See DTA Waiver Mania, Cisco, Moto Go for DTA Waivers , and Comcast's DTAs: Security Optional .) — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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