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American Cable Association Statement On FCC’s Digital Basic Tier Encryption Order

PITTSBURGH,  October 15, 2012 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission's decision to remove the ban on cable operator encryption of the digital basic service tier:

"The FCC's decision is a true win-win for consumers and cable operators, especially providers of cable service in high-cost rural areas.  ACA expects at least some of its members to take advantage of this ruling soon after it takes effect.

"In our view, the FCC ruling will permit cable operators to encrypt the digital basic service tier and activate and deactivate customer service from remote locations, including headends. This means that providers will no longer need to send technicians to perform simple in-home tasks and that consumers will no longer need to remain at home to await service calls.

"The ability to service consumers remotely will benefit cable operators serving rural areas -- many of whom are ACA Members -- where costs to send employees on service calls are higher than for operators in urban areas because of the greater geographic distance between consumer locations.

"Equally important is that the FCC ruling will mean that cable operators can expect to see a reduction in theft of service, which should benefit paying consumers who are effectively shouldering the costs imposed by signal thieves."

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.4 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America.  Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business.  For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/

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