Evolution Broadband, NCTA file with FCC over petition against waiver

Fri, 07/10/2009 - 8:55am
Mike Robuck

Evolution Broadband and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association both filed documents in support of the Federal Communication Commission’s three-year waiver that was granted to Evolution for its low-cost set-top boxes with digital terminal adapters.

Public Knowledge, Free Press, Media Access Project, New American Foundation, Open Technology Institute and U.S. PIRG previously filed a petition in opposition to the FCC granting the waiver to Evolution on June 1. In response to that petition, the American Cable Association threw its support behind Evolution’s waiver.

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.

In granting the waiver, the FCC found that Evolution’s waiver request met the criteria for the limited-capacity standard that was in its 2005 Deferral Order.

In a Thursday filing, the NCTA wrote that “there is simply no basis for petitioners’ assertion that the Evolution Broadband Order is contrary to the well-established waiver policy for these devices.” The NCTA also said the FCC has long recognized that waivers for low-cost, limited-capability set-top boxes will serve the public interest without hurting the retail marketplace for navigation devices or the FCC’s common reliance goals.

Evolution’s filing, which was also submitted on Thursday, said the Commission should reject the Petition for Reconsideration for the following reasons:

  • The Commission correctly concluded that the waiver for Evolution' s low-cost, limited-capability set-top boxes would not undermine CableCard support or other common reliance technologies.
  • The Commission articulated ample factual, legal and policy justifications for granting Evolution’s waiver petition.
  • The Commission properly interpreted precedent, concluding that past orders adopted a low-cost, limited-capability standard for set-top box waivers.
  • The Evolution set-top boxes at issue will always be one-way devices incapable of being upgraded to provide any kind of advanced functionality.

When it granted the waiver, the FCC indicated that it would act quickly in granting similar waiver requests by other DTA vendors. Since then, Motorola, Cisco, Pace and Thomson have also filed for waivers from the FCC.

More Broadband Direct 07/10/09:
•  Evolution Broadband, NCTA file with FCC over petition against waiver
•  Starz signs up for Comcast's On Demand Online trial
•  Comcast adds 80 new networks to parts of Bay area footprint
•  Rogers adds 50 Mbps tier, N gateway
•  Sprint Nextel signs networking deal with Ericsson
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•  Broadband Briefs for 07/10/09



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