NPRM proposes allowing all-digital cable TV operators to encrypt basic tier

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#1
The FCC is considering letting cable TV operators with all-digital system to encrypt their basic service tier.

The agency adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Oct. 13 seeking comment on removing an existing prohibition on such encryption and has tentatively concluded that lifting the ban would not "substantially affect" compatibility between consumer electronics and the cable systems.

In the NPRM, the commission acknowledged that certain viewers feel the impact of the change, but that the number would be relatively small. The notice identifies viewers who subscribe to basic cable and have no STB and those who have a STB on a primary TV and have basic service on a second or third household TV as those who could be affected.

To remedy these potential problems, the commission has tentatively concluded that all-digital cable system operators choosing to encrypt their basic service tier will be subject to steps that protect such consumers for a limited time.

Cable operators stand to benefit from the rule change because it will allow them to enable and disable cable service remotely. In January 2010, Cablevision requested a waiver of the rule for its New York City systems, and a filing with the commission a year later by the company reported that basic service tier encryption reduced the number of truck rolls by 2763. The cable operator also predicted that 70 percent of its deactivations would eventually be done remotely.

At that time, the Media Bureau, which was petitioned for the waiver, reasoned that the company "sufficiently addressed" incompatibility problems by providing basic-only subscribers with STBs and CableCARDs at no charge "for significant periods of time."
Read More: NPRM proposes allowing all-digital cable TV operators to encrypt basic tier

Bottom line: Under the proposed rules all cable subscribers, including basic tier and subscribers with multiple TVs, will be forced to rent STBs from the cable company for all TVs after a limited "free period." Just one more reason to "cut the cord."

I'm sure that the set top box manufactures love it!!!
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
I'm sure that the set top box manufactures love it!!!
Not anywhere near as much as the Cable providers. Manufacturers get paid ONCE for their product. The cable companies get paid every month for rental fees. After the unit is paid for, it's all free income from then on.

Talk about getting paid to do nothing!
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#3
NCTA to FCC: Let All-Digital MSOs Encrypt Basic Tier

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (headed by former FCC Chairman Michael Powell) has urged the Federal Communications Commission to allow cable operators that have gone all digital to encrypt their basic tier.

That came in comments Monday on the FCC's proposal to do just that. "Given the substantial public interest benefits and the lack of harms associated with encryption, NCTA endorses the Commission's tentative conclusions and urges it to act expeditiously in amending its rules," according to the cable organization.

It added that allowing basic encryption would largely eliminate theft of service, promote innovation and investment, and reduce polution and fuel consumption by reducing truck rolls to activate or deactivate service (NCTA said Monday that the benefits would outweigh the minimal extra watts consumed by new boxes).

Cable operators also argued that the competition has no similar ban on encryption. "When the encryption rule was adopted in 1994, cable was the dominant MVPD, and there were few competitors," said NCTA. "The situation is dramatically different today. DBS and telco IPTV providers -- each requiring set-top boxes for each of their subscribers -- serve approximately 40% of the marketplace with all-digital service on a fully encrypted basis. Likewise, online video distributors deliver video to customers on an encrypted basis. Netflix alone has 23.8 million subscribers, more than any MVPD. None of these video providers is barred from encrypting or otherwise protecting the content they provide to their customers."
As Multichannel News first reported back in October, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposed allowing all cable operators to encrypt digital basic channels, given that the TV industry is going all-digital and that the move would had consumer, environmental and theft-protection benefits.
Read More: NCTA to FCC: Let All-Digital MSOs Encrypt Basic Tier - 2011-11-28 22:29:38 | Multichannel News
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#4
the TV industry is going all-digital and that the move would had consumer, environmental and theft-protection benefits.
Ahh, Julius. You're so full of horse puckies. Theft protection, yes.

Environmental and consumer benefits? Really? Those cable boxes suck down a lot of energy when you multiply them by a few per household, and if the FCC succeeds in killing free OTA TV (as is Genachowski 's unstated goal), every home with a TV Cable will have at least one of these boxes. Cable companies are also pushing DVR's these days because they produce larger profits than STBs, but they are also huge energy hogs because they are on 24/7.

I fail to see how adding $5-$30+ to every consumer's monthly cable bill is a "benefit" to anyone but cable companies. And don't forget, these prices/fees can only go up, and they're not regulated in any way.
 
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