With the FCC’s set-top integration ban here, S-A and Motorola say they expect to meet demand for CableCARD boxes. As of July 1 (Sun), operators can no longer deploy new, embedded security set-tops. Some ops, especially smaller ones, have worried that they may face difficulty getting CableCARD-enabled boxes in time to comply with the deadline. "I’m not aware of any issues right now," said Dave Clark, S-A dir, product strategy and mgmt for home entertainment products. "In the past, we have been running at capacity, and there have been a few issues getting orders filled because demand was extremely high. Right now, there’s a little bit of a pause as we are hitting July 1." Motorola product manager David Goodwin said his company is "perfectly fine" on order shipments with proper lead times. NCTC said members that forecasted their set-top needs and placed orders in 1Q are getting their initial shipments, though delivery has been "slow." NCTC members that placed orders late are facing the normal 90-120 day lead time for delivery. "Because the availability and delivery dates vary by set-top model, it is hard to make a blanket statement about delivery," an NCTC spokesman said. "NCTC will continue to monitor availability and delivery times for members to help them meet their set-top needs as best we can. July 1 was just Day One—steady production and ready supplies of all models will be a challenge for some months to come." At our deadline, the FCC still had not acted on dozens of companies’ requests to waive the new rule. It’s possible the Commission could grant some waivers after July 1. There could be a slight delay in getting orders switched over, but both vendors said they’d be able to do it. "If you get a waiver the day before July 1 or 2 months after, we’re here and we can help you," Clark said. Set-top Graveyard: So, what happens to all those embedded security boxes out there? Operators have tried to make sure they don’t have any left in their inventory by July 1. Charter, which received a waiver to continue deploying some of the embedded boxes, said operators have approached the MSO about taking some of the set-tops in their inventory off their hands. Charter said it will entertain possibly purchasing the boxes if they meet its marketing requirements (ie, it won’t take boxes bearing another operator’s name, etc). Embedded boxes that are already deployed are fine. When those boxes are returned to the MSO because a customer moves or cancels service, etc, they can be redeployed into the marketplace.