Cablevision's Broadcast TV Encryption Request: 0 For, 7 Against

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So far there’s no love for Cablevision’s proposal to encrypt broadcast basic TV signals that are currently made available to subscribers “in the clear” — although for now, the opposition is being voiced by consumers unaffected by the proposal.

The operator has asked the FCC for permission to scramble the full cable lineup in its New York City franchise areas (see Cablevision Seeks To Encrypt Broadcast Basic Channels). According to Cablevision, that would reduce its costs for truck rolls that are necessary to activate or suspend service.

As of Friday, the FCC had posted seven comments in response to Cablevision’s petition — all opposed to the idea.

“Cable companies are raping consumers already by reducing the number of channels available without a cable box while simultaneously raising their rates,” reads the most inflammatory contribution.

Another commenter wants Cablevision’s petition rejected because “my family has a significant investment in unencrypted (’clear’) QAM hardware for the purpose of watching the basic tier channels.” But, he adds, if the waiver is granted, Cablevision should be “mandated to offer hardware free-of-charge to unencrypt that signal at the subscriber end.”

However, note that at least two of the commenters aren’t even Cablevision customers — one is a Cox subscriber who lives in Southern California, while a another misidentifies the operator that filed the request as Comcast. Furthermore, those who do claim to be Cablevision customers don’t reside in New York City, which is the area the waiver petition covers.

You can read the comments on the FCC’s site here — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 — along with Cablevision’s original filing. The proceeding is FCC docket no. 09-168.

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