The American Cable Association Wednesday (April 20) praised
the FCC's tentative proposal to allow cable operators to offer low-cost HD
set-tops, a move that could spur HD adoption and speed the migration to digital
that will open up more bandwidth for cable operators.
"ACA applauds the Federal Communications Commission for
tentatively concluding in a notice of proposed rulemaking that small cable
operators can provide better service to their customers, including faster
broadband speeds, by having greater flexibility under existing set-top box
rules to offer low-cost, high definition boxes."
As part of its revamping of the CableCARD regime announced
Wednesday, the FCC proposed a blanket waiver of its mandate separating the
security and channel surfing functions to allow for integrated low-cost
HD set-top boxes.
In granting an individual
waiver to Cable One last May for an integrated HD set-top, the FCC made it
clear it found a public interest in promoting HD adoption and migration to
digital via the waiver. It is taking the opportunity of its revamp of the
set-top regime to officially add the presumption that it is in the public
As part of the rulemaking proposed Wednesday, the commission
is also considering whether to confine the blanket waiver to smaller systems or
open it up to all cable operators.