BendBroadband Goes All Digital1/16/2009 1:11 PM Eastern
BendBroadband has completed the transition to an all-digital cable system.
The central Oregon cable operator's entire analog cable TV signal was shut down on the morning of Jan. 2, making BendBroadband one of the nation's first cable operators to achieve full-digital status, according to officials.
By late 2007, BendBroadband, with about 50% of its customer base subscribing to digital cable, had already made significant progress toward its goal of becoming a completely digital system by 2010 or 2011. However, the timetable was dramatically shortened when the FCC granted a conditional waiver to the company from the separable security ban. The FCC allowed BendBroadband to continue deployment of the low cost DCT700 set- top box with the caveat that the company eliminate analog service by the end of 2008.
Access to the DCT700 was critical to migrating customers in order to provide an affordable all-digital solution.
During the final few months of the transition to all-digital BendBroadband began the selective reclamation of analog channels, which allowed for the continued expansion of its HD lineup, which now totals 71 enhanced channels. Five more are scheduled to launch this month
Last July, the operated doubled its download speeds -- up to 16Mb -- for the company's high-speed Internet customers.
"The transition to an all-digital platform puts BendBroadband in an important strategic position," said president and CEO Amy Tykeson in a statement. "By eliminating carriage of analog signals, we were able to reclaim more than 300 MHz of spectrum (out of 750 MHz) -- nearly half-- and avoid the significant cost associated with a major system rebuild. This allows us to continue to increase Internet speeds - with the implementation of DOCSIS 3.0 in 2009 and IP simulcast in the future. We now have sufficient bandwidth capacity to maintain our national leadership position in HD channel count and aggressively pursue the deployment of advanced video services."