CableCARD Deployments Hit 52.61M

The top nine incumbent U.S. cable operators have deployed more than 52.61 million CableCARD modules in MSO-supplied set-tops, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s latest report to the FCC.

That represents an increase of about 1.1 million from the NCTA's last report, issued in February.

By comparison, the number of CableCARDs currently deployed by those MSOs for use in retail-bought video devices such as TiVo DVRs and integrated HDTVs was just above 620,000 – roughly the same figure reported by the NCTA in February.

The NCTA has been issuing these reports since the FCC’s ban on integrated security set-tops took effect in July 2007. The passing of the STELAR Act, which became law late last year, activated a provision that will sunset the FCC’s current ban on integrated security set-tops after a year.

The FCC is now tasked with pursuing a successor to the CableCARD that will focus on downloadable security systems that could be applied to cable operators as well as other MVPDs, including telcos and satellite TV providers.

To help with that pursuit, the FCC in January appointed the Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC), which must file a report with the Commission detailing its findings by Sept. 4, 2015. The next DSTAC meeting is scheduled to take place Wednesday, May 13, at 10 a.m. ET.

In April, a group that includes several MVPDs, the NCTA, American Cable Association, and CableLabs, have voiced concerns about the scope and direction of the FCC-appointed committee.