Friday, March 21, 2008

FCC Requires Open IPTV

In a recent ruling that gives waivers to smaller cable systems for rules that require open set-top boxes, there is a footnote that requires an open security system for U.S. Telco IPTV providers that permits interconnection by consumer electronic devices by July 1, 2008.

The U.S. IPTV providers stated to the FCC that their security systems were already open. The FCC has not yet decided that this is or is not the case.

This could be a real problem for the U.S. IPTV providers. Every IPTV content security system is proprietary and based on a single company's system. The IPTV industry has not developed an interoperable standard such as the Cable Lab's cable card that can be used across systems. It is clearly not feasible for consumer electronic companies to deploy all of the proprietary content security systems that the U.S. IPTV providers are using in their products. There has to be a single standard that they can implement.

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