Today marks the CableCARD deadline, the day when cable ops are obliged to have enough point-of-deployment digital access cards on hand to meet the demands of subs with plug- and-play sets. Manufacturers S-A & Motorola are ready, having begun shipping the cards months ago, although neither expects ops to be deluged by requests. S-A’s Bob Van Orde told CableWORLD the number of cards it’s shipped is "very small … probably a 4-digit number." Of those, just 2 cards have been activated. Motorola vp Dan Sutorius says he’s "anxious to see what happens," but declined to provide figures. Interest can only be spurred by the MSOs. "You may see a lot more marketing activity once the date hits," he says. As for cable ops, Time Warner Cable says while "it’s a little early yet" to gauge response, its field techs and CSRs are ready to install the cards and field customer questions. It plans to roll trucks to ensure QoS, as it did in its MN trial. Other MSOs have echoed Time Warner’s readiness, and are working on additional customer education initiatives. Besides posting information on its local Web portals, Cox also has teamed with cable service locator Go2Broadband to clue subs in on CableCard information. Cox also said it would charge a $1.99 monthly rental fee for the card.

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C-band Auction Concludes

The C-band auction officially came to a close Friday after 97 rounds of bidding that grossed just under $81bln, cementing its place as the highest-grossing spectrum auction held in the US. FCC chairman Ajit

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