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Only 443,000 CableCARDs deployed into consumer's equipment

Ben Drawbaugh

Here we are about five years after CableCARDs became available and only 443,000 of 'em have been deployed into 3rd party hardware -- you know, like a TiVo HD or a Windows Media Center Digital Cable Tuner. If you think that's a lot, think again, as that is barely 1 percent of the 41.5 million digital cable subscribers in the US. This was according to a report delivered to the FCC by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and really gives credibility to the CEA's claim that the technology is ineffective at its intended purpose. As consumers we know all too well why the currently implementation of the technology is worthless to the other 99 percent of cable subscribers, which is a combination of the fact that 3rd party CableCARD host devices are not privy to all the same features of the cable company's set-top -- like VOD and PPV -- but also because the cable operators do just about everything possible to talk you out of using them. Regardless of the reasons one thing is for sure, CableCARDs have not fulfilled the requirements set by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the FCC needs to stop wasting time and get back to the drawing board.

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