Cable deployed some 700 CableCARDs through Aug, with fees at $0-$2.95/month, according to an FCC filing from NCTA. NCTA sent CEA a letter in June asking to be notified of instances in which a consumer has difficulty obtaining a CableCARD from an operator. As of Sept 7, NCTA had heard of no such cases. Technicians distribute nearly all CableCARDs. This has been important since new technologies often bring snags, NCTA said, pointing to 2 (unnamed) digital-cable-ready sets that require a tech visit before they function properly. MSO and CE techs are joining voluntary, weekly troubleshooting conference calls. In a Sept 30 letter to the Commission, NCTA reiterated its opposition to an FCC rule calling for MSOs to halt deploying digital boxes that don’t support CableCARDs after July ’06.

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