The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on Feb. 17 filed objections with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), requesting the US regulator to reverse its decision to grant US cable MSO Cablevision an extension of its Cablecard waiver. The FCC's extension was granted until 31 December 2010, awarding Cablevision time to introduce a downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) as an alternative to Cablecards. Cablevision is collaborating with existing CAS supplier NDS on its DCAS. The CEA's objection is principally twofold: that the FCC was not provided with specific details of the DCAS, and that the FCC has issued no word on the regulatory compliance of the proposed DCAS.
Given that the FCC's waiver is tacit recognition that an open DCAS is a viable alternative to Cablecard, general interest in developing such a solution could be revived, such as the stalled collaborative DCAS effort between Comcast, Cox and TWC. However, if the FCC deems the Cablevision/NDS framework to be open it could become the de facto DCAS solution in the US.
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