NCTA Strikes at CableCards

Washington — Cable lobbyists are using a government inquiry
into set-top box regulations as a chance to seek an end
to the CableCard regime.

In comments to the Federal Communications Commission’s
inquiry into a proposed new gateway home device, the National
Cable & Telecommunications Association said it was time to
end the FCC’s ban on integrated set-tops.

The FCC mandated that cable operators separate the security
and channel-surfi ng functions (via CableCard security) to
spur a retail market for the boxes. Such a market has not resulted
from the ban.

The NCTA said cable operators have deployed about 20
million of the CableCard devices, at a cost of more than $1

It doesn’t make sense to deploy any more, the cable trade
association argues, especially since the FCC is looking at
changing the set-top environment.