Rules: Quick Hits


McSlarrow to Testify At Set-Top Hearing

WASHINGTON — While the House Communications Subcommittee’s
hearing on cable set-top boxes set for last week
was postponed due to a conflict with a full-committee
markup, when it does convene,National Cable & Telecommunications
Kyle McSlarrow will head the
list of witnesses, according to a
memorandum to Democratic
staff circulated last week.

Also slated to testify at the
hearing, which has not yet
been rescheduled, are Public
Knowledge president Gigi
Sohn; Michael Williams of Sony
Electronics; David Young of Verizon
Communications; and Matthew Zinn of TiVo.

The hearing was called to vet a proposal in the FCC’s
National Broadband Plan intended to create a robust retail
market in set-tops and mandate a navigation device that
would become the “standard interface” for both broadband
and traditional multichannel video delivery.

Such a gateway device would help spur broadband adoption,
according to the FCC, because some 99% of households
have TV sets, but only about 75% have a computer.

Set-Tops, CableCards on FCC Docket

WASHINGTON — When the Federal Communications Commission
meets on April 21, the agenda will include addressing
future set-top boxes and the current CableCard regime.

The FCC wants comments on the best way to create a
standard, open and accessible
navigation device that can unite
broadband and traditional multichannel
video as a way to spur
broadband adoption.

It is also proposing rule
changes to set-tops currently in
use to spur a more robust retail
market by improving its rules
mandating the separation of channel-surfing and security
functions via CableCard hardware technology.

Other national broadband plan-related items on the
docket include an inquiry and rulemaking on universal
service reforms, the effects on broadband of network
damage, equipment failures and overloads, and establishing
a voluntary cyber security certification program.

The FCC has laid out what chairman Julius Genachowski
calls an aggressive and unprecedented agenda to implement
broadband plan, including monthly rulemaking proposals
and inquiries stretching over the months and even
years ahead.

Stupak To Speak at ACA Gathering

WASHINGTON — Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) will be the Capitol
Hill keynote speaker at the
American Cable Association’s
policy summit April 20. The summit
is being held at the National
Harbor complex just across the
Potomac River from Washington.

Stupak is retiring next year
after nine terms in Congress.
A member of the Energy &
Commerce Committee’s Communications
& Internet Subcommittee,
Stupak has been sympathetic
to the issues affecting the
small and midsized operators ACA represents, particularly
rural access to aff ordable communications services.