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NCTA Fires Back At Dual Carriage Proposal

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association shot back at reports FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is floating a proposal to require cable's dual delivery of analog and digital versions of TV station signals after the transition to digital in 2009.

“This plan appears to conclude that the digital TV transition can be solved by disenfranchising millions of customers by forcing them to rent a set-top box they may not want," said NCTA spokesman Brian Dietz. "And will, in fact, cost more because the Commission has refused to repeal its $600 million-a-year set-top box tax that begins in July."

"Cable is a longtime champion of the digital TV transition and has invested more than $100 billion over the last decade to expand the benefits of digital TV and migrate more than half of our subscribers to a digital platform," Dietz said.

"We have repeatedly assured Congress and the federal government that we’ll continue to deliver broadcast signals to cable’s analog customers after the February 2009 transition. The right approach to ensuring a seamless digital transition is a collaborative process that doesn't reach premature conclusions that will jeopardize our efforts to assist cable’s 65 million customers.”