CableCARD Deployments Pull Past 51.5M

Because we’re still keeping score as the CableCARD regime heads toward its end, the number of removable security modules deployed in MSO-supplied set-tops by the top nine incumbent cable operators has eclipsed 51.5 million, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said in its latest report to the FCC.

By comparison, the number of CableCARDs currently deployed by those MSOs for use in  retail-bought video devices such as TiVo boxes and integrated HDTVs was just under 620,000.

The NCTA’s previous report, issued last October, found that those same operators had deployed about 50 million CableCARDs in MSO-supplied boxes, and 623,000 modules in retail devices.

The FCC ban on integrated security set-tops took effect on July 1, 2007, but the CableCARD regime as the industry it is in the processing of fading away amid the passing of the STELAR Act, which became law late last year, activating a provision that will sunset the FCC’s current ban on integrated security set-tops after a year.

In STELAR’s wake, the FCC is now tasked with pursuing a successor to the CableCARD that will focus on downloadable security and removable systems that would apply to a broader range of MVPDs, not just cable operators.

Toward that end, the FCC last week appointed 18 members, including execs from Comcast, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, TiVo, Amazon and Google, to a new group called the Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC) that will give the FCC a hand. The DSTAC’s first of several monthly meeting is slated for Feb. 17, 2015, at FCC headquarters. The committee must file a report with the Commission detailing its findings by Sept. 4, 2015.