Unless otherwise directed, policymakers in Washington would rather deflect attention away from the unintended consequences of yesterday’s decisions than be troubled by real-world dilemmas. Others don’t have that luxury.

What happens, for instance, to the business model of an all-digital simulcast when the the July 2007 ban on integrated security kicks in? Removable security? Good. Digital transition? Good. (And for more on getting all-digital correct technically, see Ron Hranac’s column this month.) But what about the low-cost Motorola DCT700 doubling in price, or more likely, simply no longer being available? Not so good.

For a quick survey of the removable security quandary, see the lead story from our contributor, Jim Barthold, a veteran industry writer (and one of our lead writers for CT Reports) who actually served in the Donald Rumsfeld “administration” at General Instrument back in the early 1990s. From the field, and Europe If you’re seeking practical answers to the kind of frequently asked questions about CableCards that never occurred to Washington bureaucrats, see the contribution from one of this month’s two experts from the field, Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio Data Support Services Manager Joanne Bandlow.

Our second field expert this month is Brian Jeans, a Comcast University instructor in St. Paul, who has the pleasure of helping technicians climb the digital learning curve (and the occasaional pole) and assume, rather than skirt, responsibility for problems that they may not have created.

Given the hype that has surrounded ‘"IPTV"’ over the past year, one might think that it had worked its way into some candidate’s political platform. For a cool assessment of this category, see the contribution from one of our favorite Belgian engineers, Scientific Atlanta VP, CTO and Chief Architect for Europe and Asia Nick Fielibert. Will the cable industry maneuver into this space? If so, how? We’ll be watching. Jonathan Tombes
Editor
jtombes@accessintel.com

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