Monday, July 2, 2007

FCC Pushing Cable Companies to All Digital

In a ruling today, the U.S. FCC gave relief against the requirement that banned set-top boxes with integrated content protection on the condition that these companies convert to all digital by February 17, 2009. This ruling effects some IPTV providers such as Verizon and Qwest for its IPTV trials in Phoenix and Denver. The purpose of this ban is to open up a competitive retail market for set-top boxes. The conversion to all digital will free up spectrum and permit new services to be offered.

This is bad news for the IPTV providers in the U.S. such as AT&T and Verizon. Forcing the U.S. cable companies to go all digital will give them a significant amount of spectrum that they can use for DOCSIS 3.0 services, IPTV, and interactive TV. This will make the U.S. cable companies that much more competitive with the IPTV services.

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