Late last week, the FCC’s Media Bureau granted Cablevision Systems Corporation’s request for a waiver of the FCC’s prohibition on encryption of a cable system’s basic service tier for its New York City systems (which cover the Bronx and the majority of Brooklyn) after Cablevision completes its transition of those systems to an all-digital delivery format.1
Cablevision argued that allowing it to encrypt its basic tier would enable it to leave its New York City cable systems “hot.” This would allow Cablevision to improve customer service by implementing remote activation and deactivation of accounts, saving its subscribers the aggravation and cost associated with setting up service and installation appointments; to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions; and to alleviate traffic. Cablevision asserted that the waiver would have virtually no negative impact on its cable customers.
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