ACA Applauds FCC Proposal To Allow Cable Ops To Offer Low-Cost HD Set-Tops

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The American Cable Association praised the Federal Communications Commission's tentative proposal to allow MSOs 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, " the organization said in a statement Wednesday.

As part of its revamping of the CableCARD regime announced April 21, the FCC proposed a blanket waiver of its 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. The commission is taking the opportunity of its revamp of the set-top regime to officially add the presumption that it is in the public interest.

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.