Comcast Files Set-top Box Appeal


Washington – As expected, Comcast took the Federal Communications Commission to court Wednesday over the agency’s refusal to exempt certain consumer set-top boxes from an equipment unbundling rule that took effect in July.

Comcast filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, asking that the court invalidate the FCC’s action and order the agency to grant the requested waivers. Comcast, which waited seven weeks to file, sought expedited review of its appeal.

Without a waiver, cable operators are required to issue new set-top boxes that are CableCard-enabled. The insertable cards tell the set-tops how to unscramble digital content. Although the FCC denied Comcast’s wavier requests, it granted others that involved identical equipment, prompting Comcast to allege discriminatory treatment.