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Change is Needed in DTV Transition Policy

Citing the need to encourage the digital television transition in smaller markets and rural areas, the American Cable Association (ACA) filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting a waiver request by Comcast Corporation that would allow low-cost set-top boxes to be deployed without requiring the addition of CableCard security.

ACA said that excluding low-cost set-top boxes, such as the DCT-700, Explorer-940, Pace Chicago, DCT-2000 and DCT-2500, from the FCC�s ban on integrated navigation devices �will allow the digital transition to continue in smaller markets.� ACA provided examples of five member companies that have deployed low-cost digital set-top boxes to transition to all-digital networks and to provide targeted digital programming to their subscribers.

�The move toward all-digital networks in smaller markets has been made possible by the availability of low-cost, limited-capability set-top boxes,� ACA said in its comments. �Banning these LCSTBs (low-cost set-top boxes) or requiring the addition of CableCard slots will raise the price of digital services beyond the reach of many subscribers and significantly slow the digital transition, negatively impacting ACA members and their smaller market-subscribers.�

Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a national association of medium-sized and smaller, independent cable television businesses and owners of smaller cable systems that work together to ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses. Association members primarily serve customers in smaller markets and rural areas across America. The Association represents independent cable businesses through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C. ACA�s nearly 1,100 member companies serve more than 8 million subscribers in all 50 states.

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