Cable operators can start encrypting digital basic tiers as
of Dec. 10, according to the FCC.
The commission's order lifting the basic tier encryption ban
becomes effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which was
The commission voted 5-0 in October to allow cable operators
to encrypt their digital basic tiers.
The commission adopted the rule prohibiting cable operators
from scrambling digital basic tiers so that viewers with cable-ready sets would
not have to buy or rent a set-top box. Now, because of the cost savings to
cable operators, the reduction in pollution from fewer truck rolls,
theft-of-service prevention, and the general lack of complaints in markets
where the agency had granted waivers -- most prominently to Cablevision Systems
in New York in 2010 -- thechairman signaled it was time to lift the ban and the other commissionersagreed.
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