FCC's 'AllVid' Gateway Would Require Six IP Video Streams

The Federal Communications Commission is looking for feedback on its proposal to require U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV operators to supply all their customers an "AllVid" device or gateway -- capable of delivering as many as six different IP video streams to TVs, DVRs or other equipment in the home -- beginning no later than the end of 2012.

The commission issued the proposal Wednesday in a "notice of inquiry" seeking input. The FCC is hoping to "spur innovation, draw users to broadband, and change how people perceive and use broadband," by mandating a solution that would work across all multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).

For now, the FCC is seeking comment on the AllVid concept and does not intend to impose rules immediately. However, the agency has suggested it would require all MVPDs to supply all subscribers with the AllVid solution no later than Dec. 31, 2012, and mandate the use of the interface with their operator-leased set-tops and DVRs as well.

The cable industry supports the "all-MVPD" solution, in large part because it would put satellite and telco competitors in the same regulatory boat.

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