FCC To Address Set-Top Boxes, CableCard at April 21 Meeting

The FCC has released its its agenda for the April 21 public meeting and, as advertised, it includes items on future set-top boxes and the current CableCard regime.

The FCC is seeking comment on the best way to create a standard, open and accessible navigation device that can unite broadband and traditional multichannel video as a way to spur broadband adoption.

It is also proposing rule changes to set-top boxes currently in use to spur a more robust retail market by improving its rules mandating the separation of channel-surfing and security functions via the CableCard hardware technology used to insure the latter.

Other national broadband plan-related items on the docket include an inquiry and rulemaking on universal service reforms, the effects on broadband of network damage, equipment failures and overloads, and establishing a voluntary cyber security certification program.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was urged by Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) to implement the plan as swiftly as possible so the benefits could reach all Americans, particularly the rural residents he represents.

The FCC has laid out what Genachowski has called an aggressive and unprecedented agenda for implementation of the broadband plan that will include monthly rulemaking proposals and inquiries stretching over the months and even years ahead.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.