Yesterday, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association provided the Federal Communications Commission with an update on the number of CableCards that have been deployed since the FCC’s integration ban was put in place in July 2007.
The top-10 cable operators have handed out more than 16.71 million set-top boxes with CableCards after posting 14 million deployments in June .
As of Aug. 21, 29 consumer electronics manufacturers have had 605 Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Product (UDCP) models, which include digital ready DTV sets certified, verified, or self-verified for use with CableCards, as well as eight tru2way devices certified for use.
As for CableCard deployment for those devices, the five MSOs that were required to report yesterday – Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable – and that serve nearly 80 percent of the cable subscribers in the country, have deployed more than 412,000 CableCards for use in those devices, which wasn’t up much from the 407,000 reported in June.
When the CableCards deployed by the next five largest incumbent cable operators – Bright House Networks, Mediacom Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Insight Communications and CableOne – were included, there have been more than 443,000 CableCards deployed for use in retail devices by the 10 largest incumbent cable operators that serve approximately 90 percent of the cable subscribers in the country.
On the other hand, since the ban went into effect, the NCTA said those 10 companies have already deployed more than 16.71 million operator-supplied set-top boxes with CableCards. In more than 24 months, cable operators have deployed almost 38 times as many CableCard-enabled devices than the total number of CableCards requested by customers for use in retail devices in over the last five years.
The FCC’s mandate that cable operators put CableCards into digital set-top boxes was supposed to help consumer electronics devices have “common reliance” on cable operators’ networks, but cable operators have viewed the CableCards as an added expense.