VeriSign, a Internet trust services provider, will be the gatekeeper of CableLabs Root Certificate Authority. The Root Certificate Authority establishes the hierarchy to use digital certificates securing cable modems across the industry. This implements the cable modem security provisions detailed in CableLabs' DOCSIS 1.1 and PacketCable specifications to secure new and existing services delivered over broadband networks. DOCSIS and PacketCable are CableLabs-managed initiatives that require inclusion of digital certificates in cable modems at the time they are manufactured to prevent pirating of cable services. Authentication is growing in importance, as the cable industry is expected to grow to 20.3 million users and $6.6 billion in revenue by 2004, according to Kinetic Strategies.
"The correct establishment of the public key infrastructure (PKI) is the cornerstone to securing these CableLabs designed networks against cloning and theft of service," said Ed Miller, director of PacketCable, in a statement.
VeriSign's role as the Root Certificate Authority, and as a provider of digital certificate services to cable modem manufacturers, include creating a secure environment enabling cable service providers to accelerate the delivery of value-added secure broadband services to their customers, setting the stage for next-generation broadband services that require tight security, such as pay-per-view, digital rights management, and online software delivery.