If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Come on July 1, 2007!

I was reading an article at ARS Technica, FCC denies Comcast request; "integration ban" coming in July / FCC Ruling (pdf format), about the FCC "integration ban" that when implemented on July 1, 2007 will open up the set-top cable box market. Thus, eliminating the strangle hold that cable providers currently have over this market by providing the box it's customers use. Where money is to really to be made by the cable companies in providing the set-top boxes themselves is that they can then charge a monthly fee for any additional functionality that the boxes are to perform (i.e. HD Service, DVR, etc...). This additional charge for these set-top boxes with additional functionality are on top of the actual service or tier service that you have subscribed to.

In the ruling(s) on January 10, 2007 by the FCC they did however allow CableVision to not fully implement the CableCARD system as laid out according to SECTION 76.1204(A)(1), IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 304 OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996(pdf), COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY OF NAVIGATION DEVICES and the FCC's "CableCARD" system until July 1, 2009, as they were "grandfathered" since they have been using a similar system since 2001.

The actual requirement that the FCC via the TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996(pdf), COMMERCIAL AVAILABILITY OF NAVIGATION DEVICES wanted was to have a separate means of security on cable boxes other than the most prominent integrated version offered. Thus the CableCARD was born and became the most popular means of implementing this security measure. ARS Technica did a great write-up about the CableCard that I have linked below. All of this information is quite an interesting read and I encourage all to do so as most people will be effected by this and it is always a good idea to be informed.

FCC CableCARD Information here.
"CableCARD: A Primer" from ARS Technica here.
National Cable and Telecommunications Association's "Myths v. Realities About the FCC Integration Ban" here (you can feel the desperation).

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