Cablevision Seeks To Encrypt Basic Channels

By Andrew Gauthier 

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Cablevision Systems has filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission seeking an exemption to the agency’s rules prohibiting the encryption of basic broadcast channels, arguing that scrambling the full digital TV lineup would cut costs and deter signal theft.

According to the operator’s filing, last year it performed more than 1 million truck rolls associated with physically activating or deactivating service using drops, steps it must take to prevent against unauthorized distribution because the programming is available “in the clear.”

“Encryption of broadcast basic would allow Cablevision to keep its plant ‘hot,’ to perform connections and disconnections remotely, and thereby eliminate many truck rolls and service appointments for new and discontinuing customers,” Cablevision said.

Cablevision asked for a waiver covering its New York City franchise areas. More…