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NCTA: One-Size Set-Tops Don't Fit All

The cable industry is participating in at least 10 different
projects to advance the FCC's goal of integrating video delivery systems via
set-top devices to make it easier for consumers to access a range of content on-air
and online over their TVs.

The FCC is looking to spur broadband deployment by
leveraging the 99% penetration of TV sets vs. about 75% for computers.

In reply comments to the FCC on the national broadband plan
and the set-top inquiry, the National Cable & Telecommunications
Association argued that given those diverse initiatives, the FCC should not
rush to adopt a "standardized gateway" to deliver all multichannel
video programming to the home.

"Proposed mandates on MVPDs to reinvent their platforms
to use a one-size-fits-all, consensus technology would slow or stifle the
development of diverse technologies and services that drive competition,
innovation, and expanded choice for consumers," the group argues.

NCTA is pushing for a full-blown notice of inquiry on
set-tops before the FCC does anything, driven in part by the failure of the
FCC's ban on integrated set-tops to sport a retail market in the boxes.

NCTA says a gateway should be part of the discussion, but no
specific one should be mandated in an immediate rulemaking. That, said the
group, would be picking technology "winners and losers," which
Congress has advised against.

The market has already spoken, says NCTA, and millions of
network-connected devices are allowing multiple solutions to compete against
each other.