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Stevens, Barton write FCC chair to urge downloadable set-top box security

November 29, 2006

Just because the U.S. Congress is going to change hands in January (almost typed "next month," cause it kind of feels like December) that doesn't mean the soon-to-be-minority Republicans aren't attempting to implement their wishes.

House Rep. Joe Barton of Texas and his Senate counterpart, Ted "series of tubes" Ted Stevens are urging the Federal Communcations Commission to avoid enforcing a rule that would mandate requiring separating the security and channel surfing functions of cable set-top boxes.

Due to technical reasons, this separation has not yet occurred. But during this time, downloadable security functions have proven a more sensible fix then a physical plug-in card envisioned when the legislation was passed several years ago.

Despite these advancements, the ban is slated to go into effect on July 1, 2007.

Not if Stevens and Barton have their say, though.

"Forcing a costly deployment of outdated technology while another that offers more to consumers is just over the horizon is not good public policy," the legislators wrote to FCC Chair Kevin Martin.  They propose an alternative of downloadable security solutions while in parallel, ensuring that cable subscribers who want cable cards have access to them.CableCards have access to them.

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