The FCC Sucks

Aron Schatz
September 21, 2006

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Everytime I read an article about the FCC, I am reminded on why it sucks. The latest reminder... the Cable Card. Yeah, what about that piece of technology that should be for all cable companies? I can get a HDTV with a built-in tuner and still require a tuner from the cable company.


In 1998, the FCC directed the cable industry to develop a physical device--now called a CableCard--containing the security functions that could be inserted into the equipment of independent manufacturers. That made sure their boxes could be used with cable systems around the country. The FCC thought this separate security device would allow multichannel video program distributors to retain control over the security function while enabling independent entities separately to market navigation devices. The cable industry has so far supplied about 200,000 CableCards for use in more than 140 models of digital cable-ready devices. But the vast majority of cable subscribers continue to use equipment leased from their cable companies.


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