CableLabs said the OpenCable certification board has awarded qualification to a removable point-of-deployment (POD) security module from Scientific-Atlanta Inc. It marks the first POD (and only, thus far) to achieve such status.
POD modules separate the conditional access (CA) and security elements that are traditionally proprietary and embedded within digital cable set-tops distributed in the U.S. PODs, under the model, would provide consumer portability to OpenCable "hosts" (set-tops, digital televisions, etc.) and create a retail market for the equipment. The POD-host architecture is also a key component of the proposed "plug-and-play" agreement forged late last year by the consumer electronics industry and a number of large domestic MSOs.
"This is a great accomplishment for the companies involved, but also for the cable industry in its move toward retail availability of digital devices," said CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard Green, in a release.
Thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, cable is also under pressure by federal regulators to create a retail market for digital devices. The Federal Communications Commission recently held that cable boxes deployed after July 2006 must separate out encryption and CA.
Earlier, the FCC directed cable operators to have available interoperable PODs by July 1, 2000. The industry met that requirement just under deadline — on June 29, 2000 — when CableLabs announced it had verified the interoperability of PODs from S-A and Motorola Broadband.