Comcast has begun to encrypt limited basic channels in its most basic "B1" tier in a select number of all-digital systems, a move that comes about four months after new rules at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) paved the way.
The decision will affect a small portion of customers who are receiving that tier on TVs without a set-top in systems where Comcast has introduced basic encryption. According to a Web page detailing the plan, limited basic customers who currently do not use set-tops are eligible to receive up to two Digital Transport Adapters (DTAs) at no charge for two years, or five years if they also receive Medicaid, if they request DTAs during the equipment offer period at or around the time of encryption. Customers who subscribe to a higher level of service and get limited basic service on a secondary TV without a Comcast-supplied set-top are eligible for one device at no charge for one year.
Customers who subscribe to HD service at the time of encryption and get limited basic on a secondary TV without a Comcast-supplied box are eligible for one HD-DTA, upon request, at no charge for one year if it's ordered during the promotional offer period, which begins 30 days before the date of encryption and ends 120 days after encryption. DTAs are one-way, downstream-only devices that don't have access to pay-per-view content, premium channels, or Comcast's video-on-demand programming.