News: Cablevision granted waiver; can encrypt basic in one area

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#1
The findings of the FCC:
As of November 16, 2009 ... more than 99 percent of Cablevision’s customers in New York City already have either a set-top box or a CableCARD.
So the FCC is saying here that it is reasonable to consider 99% such an overwhelming portion of the whole, that the potentially-negative impact of the change on the remaining 1% is insufficient to constitute a reason to preclude the waiver. They are also implying that the potentially-negative impact of the change on subscribers who have one STB or CableCARD, but perhaps have other outlets in use without STB or CableCARD, is insufficient to constitute a reason to preclude the waiver. This makes it clear that the FCC acknowledges the difference between a first outlet and additional outlets, and essentially places regulatory obligations onto suppliers principally on the first outlet.

In conjunction with Cablevision’s transition to all-digital, Cablevision is voluntarily offering (a) current basic-only subscribers up to two set-top boxes or CableCARDs without charge for up to two years, (b) digital subscribers who have an additional television set currently receiving basic-only service one set-top box or CableCARD without charge for one year, and (c) current qualified low-income basic-only subscribers up to two set-top boxes or CableCARDs without charge for five years. In an effort to mitigate any harm to consumers that might result from encryption of the basic service tier, Cablevision has committed in addition to provide to its current basic-only subscribers with clear-QAM devices up to two set-top boxes or CableCARDs without charge for up to ten years. Cablevision has further agreed at the time of encryption not to charge connection fees for professional installation of those devices for basic-only subscribers. These offers are limited to current subscribers, upon request, and only so long as the customer remains at the current address and maintains his or her current level of service.
Here the FCC is making clear that mitigation of the change can be quite limited, yet still be considered sufficient. There is no allusion here that the change will not adversely affect some customers, nor any allusion that mitigation associated with such adverse affects would be permanent.



http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-34A1.txt
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#3
I think I remember reading somewhere that that number is around 40%, but I really don't remember. The main point, though, is that it doesn't matter. The expectations that are reasonable to place on service providers pertain to the first outlet. (Do note that Cablevision is providing some extra digital boxes, gratis, for a limited amount of time. The point there, though, is that that consideration is indeed for a limited amount of time, so there is no reasonable expectation for such considerations in perpetuity.)

And this is consistent with all the competitors: U-verse, FiOS, RCN, Dish Network and DirecTV all already require a digital box on every outlet.
 

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