ACA Praises End to Digital Basic Encryption Ban

Small MSO Group President Calls it Win-Win for Cost-Savings

American Cable Association president Matt Polka had nothing but good things to say about the FCC's decision, released Friday, to lift the ban on cable operator encryption of their digital basic tier.

“The FCC’s decision is a true win-win for consumers and cable operators," he said, "especially providers of cable service in high-cost rural areas."

Operators don't have to encrypt, and Polka says he expects "some" members will soon be taking advantage of the opportunity.

“The ability to service consumers remotely will benefit cable operators serving rural areas -- many of whom are ACA members -- where costs to send employees on service calls are higher than for operators in urban areas because of the greater geographic distance between consumer locations," said Polka. “Equally important is that the FCC ruling will mean that cable operators can expect to see a reduction in theft of service, which should benefit paying consumers who are effectively shouldering the costs imposed by signal thieves.”

The FCC voted unanimously last week to remove the ban, subject to some conditions.