» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 127 | NO. 203 | Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FCC Lets Cable Companies Encrypt Signals to Foil Theft

PETER SVENSSON | AP Technology Writer

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

NEW YORK (AP) – Federal regulators are letting cable companies scramble all their TV signals, closing a loophole that lets many households watch basic cable channels for free.

The Federal Communications Commission voted Friday to lift a ban on encryption of basic cable signals, saying it will reduce the number of visits by cable technicians to disconnect service and reduce cable theft.

The change will also affect households that pay for TV but have some sets hooked up directly to cable, without set-top boxes. They will need to get boxes for those sets.

Neither the FCC nor the National Cable & Telecommunications Association knows how many households are taking advantage of the unencrypted signals or will need set-top boxes. NCTA spokesman Brian Dietz says most of the theft is by cable modem customers who also connect their line to a TV set.

Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc., the two largest cable companies, could not say when they will start encrypting their basic signals.

Satellite TV providers DirecTV Inc. and Dish Network Corp. already encrypt all their TV signals. Cablevision Systems Corp., which mainly serves customers in the New York area, also does so, thanks to a waiver from the FCC. Cablevision has had relatively few complaints about the practice, the FCC noted in its decision.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 83 415 10,637
MORTGAGES 87 499 13,826
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 19 99 2,743
BUILDING PERMITS 0 915 25,222
BANKRUPTCIES 79 343 10,235
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 97 3,833
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 143 573 15,130
MARRIAGE LICENSES 23 106 3,273

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.