NCTA: At Least 216,000 CableCARDs Deployed

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Cable operators serving 90% of U.S. cable subscribers have deployed 216,000 CableCARDs to date, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said in a report to the Federal Communications Commission Friday.

The five largest MSOs had deployed a combined total of 191,174 CableCARDs, according to the NCTA report. Comcast reported 102,168 CableCARD subscribers; Time Warner Cable 41,641; Cox Communications 18,983; Charter Communications 17,164; and Cablevision Systems 11,218.

The CableCARD specification, developed by Cable Television Laboratories, defines a removable, credit-card-sized unit that plugs into set-top boxes, TV sets or other devices to provide conditional-access control to cable services. An FCC rule set to go into effect July 1, 2007, would require operators to deploy only set-top boxes with “separable” security functions such as that provided by the CableCARD.

In its report to the FCC, the NCTA also noted that as of Nov. 10, 29 consumer-electronics companies had more than 541 models of unidirectional cable-ready products certified for use with CableCARDs.

In addition, the NCTA said multistream CableCARD (M-Card) devices, which can process multiple video streams in a single device, from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta have been qualified, and CableLabs has established new testing procedures for M-Cards.

The NCTA compiled the report as part of an FCC requirement to periodically update the agency on CableCARD and M-Card efforts.

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