ACA throws support behind Evolution’s FCC waiver
Faced with a petition to the Federal Communications Commission in regard to Evolution Broadband receiving a set-top box waiver from the FCC, the American Cable Association issued a statement supporting Evolution’s waiver.
Public Knowledge, Free Press, Media Access Project, New American Foundation, Open Technology Institute and U.S. PIRG filed the petition in opposition to the FCC granting the waiver to Evolution on June 1.
The FCC found that Evolution’s waiver request for its set-top boxes with digital terminal adapters (DTAs) met its criteria for the limited-capacity standard that was in its 2005 Deferral Order.
The waiver, which was the first of its kind, meant that Evolution Broadband could offer its DMS-1002 and DMS-1002 CA boxes in a price range of $44-$50 per box to cable operators, as opposed to the more advanced set-top boxes with separable security that cost several hundred dollars each.
When it granted the waiver, the FCC indicated that it would act quickly in granting similar waiver requests by other DTA vendors. Motorola, Cisco, Pace and Thomson have also filed for waivers from the FCC.
The petitioners that oppose the waivers have said that they undercut the retail market by letting the cable vendors provide low-cost set-top boxes, and that they limit the growth of non-integrated devices by other consumer electronics manufacturers.
“The Evolution Broadband waiver adopted under acting-Chairman Copps was pro-consumer in every respect,” ACA President and CEO Matthew Polka said. “Reversing it now would force consumers to use more expensive set-top boxes they don’t need and divert the scare capital of small cable providers away from the Obama administration’s mission of making broadband as fast and widespread as economically feasible.
"The price tag for overturning the FCC’s very thoughtful ruling by the Commission would mean that small- and medium-size operators would have to purchase set-top boxes that would cost hundreds of dollars more per unit than the expected price of the Evolution boxes. These costs would inevitably be passed along to the consumer.”