EFF: FCC-03-3A1

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Federal Communications Commission Before the Federal Communications Commission Washington, D.C. 20554 In the Matter of: Implementation of Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices Compatibility Between Cable Systems and Consumer Electronics Equipment ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) FCC 03-3 CS Docket No. 97-80 PP Docket No. 00-67 FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING Adopted: January 7, 2003 Comment Date: March 28, 2003 Reply Comment Date: April 28,
  Federal Communications Commission FCC 03-3 1 Before theFederal Communications CommissionWashington, D.C. 20554 In the Matter of:Implementation of Section 304 of theTelecommunications Act of 1996Commercial Availability of Navigation DevicesCompatibility Between Cable Systems andConsumer Electronics Equipment )))))))))) CS Docket No. 97-80PP Docket No. 00-67 FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKINGAdopted: January 7, 2003 Released: January 10, 2003Comment Date: March 28, 2003Reply Comment Date: April 28, 2003 By the Commission:1.   In connection with the ongoing digital television (“DTV”) transition, certain commentersin the above-captioned proceedings have expressed the need for adoption of a standard to ensure thecompatibility of cable television systems with DTV receivers and related consumer electronicsequipment. To this end, the consumer electronics and cable industries are engaged in ongoing inter-industry discussions seeking to establish a so-called “cable plug and play” standard. Such a standardwould allow consumers to directly attach their DTV receivers to cable systems and receive cabletelevision services without the need for an external navigation device.2.   On December 19, 2002, the members of this discussion group, headed by the Consumer Electronics Association (“CEA”) and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association(“NCTA”), filed with the Commission a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) which details anagreement on a cable compatibility standard for an integrated, unidirectional digital cable televisionreceiver, as well as other unidirectional digital cable products. 1 NCTA and CEA assert that unidirectionaldigital cable television receivers manufactured pursuant to the MOU would be capable of receivinganalog basic, digital basic and digital premium cable television programming by direct connection to acable system providing digital programming. 2 The receivers would have a Digital Visual Interface 1   See Letter from Carl E. Vogel, President and CEO, Charter Communications, et al. , to Michael K. Powell,Chairman, FCC (Dec. 19, 2002) (“NCTA/CEA Letter”); Memorandum of Understanding Among Cable MSOs and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers (“NCTA/CEA MOU”) (signed by Charter Communications, Inc., ComcastCable Communications, Inc., Cox Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable, CSC Holdings, Inc., InsightCommunications Company, L.P., Cable One, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications, Hitachi America, Ltd.,JVC Americas Corp., Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc., Matsushita Electric Corp. of America(Panasonic), Philips Consumer Electronics North America, Pioneer North America, Inc., Runco International, Inc.,Samsung Electronics Corporation, Sharp Electronics Corporation, Sony Electronics, Inc., Thomson, ToshibaAmerica Consumer Electronics, Inc., Yamaha Electronics Corporation, USA, and Zenith Electronics Corporation). 2 NCTA/CEA MOU at 4.  Federal Communications Commission FCC 03-3 2(“DVI”) connector with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (“HDCP”) to connect with other consumer electronics devices. 3 The MOU also calls for such receivers to contain a point of deployment(“POD”) interface slot into which a POD module provided by the cable operator would be inserted inorder to view encrypted programming. 4 Due to the unidirectional nature of this receiver specification, anexternal navigation device will still be needed to receive advanced features such as cable operator-enhanced electronic programming guides (“EPGs”), impulse pay per view (“IPPV”) or video on demand(“VOD”). 5 The MOU indicates that the discussion group continues to work on a bidirectional receiver specification which would eliminate the need for an external navigation device to receive advancedservices. 6  3.   The compromise reached in the MOU, appended with related supporting materials asAppendix B hereto, requires, inter alia , the consumer electronics and cable television industries tocommit to certain voluntary acts and seeks the creation or revision of Commission rules in the followinggeneral areas:(1) Requiring digital cable systems with an activated channel capacity of 750 MHzor greater to support operation of unidirectional digital cable products and to ensure that navigationdevices utilized in connection with such systems have an IEEE 1394 interface and comply with specifiedtechnical standards;(2) Establishing a labeling regime for unidirectional digital cable television receiversand related digital cable products that meet certain technical specifications that would be voluntarily used by consumer electronics manufacturers. This regime would include testing and self-certificationstandards, as well as consumer information disclosures to purchasers of such receivers and products;(3) Prohibiting the use of selectable output controls by all multichannel video programming providers (“MVPDs”); and(4) Adopting encoding rules for audiovisual content applicable to all MVPDs. 7  4.   We hereby seek comment on the MOU and the proposed Commission rules containedtherein. We also seek comment on the potential impact of the MOU and its proposed rules uponconsumers, content providers, small cable operators and MVPDs other than cable operators, as well as the jurisdictional basis for Commission action in this area, including the creation of encoding rules for audiovisual content provided by MVPDs. As to issues not addressed by the MOU, such as the down-resolution of programming, we seek comment on whether Commission action is needed and authorized. 8  We also seek comment on any other issues germane to the Commission’s consideration of the MOU andthese proposed rules. 3    Id  . at 5-6. 4    Id  . at 5. 5    Id  . at 4. 6    Id  . at 10. 7    Recommended Regulations to Ensure Compatibility Between Digital Cable Systems and Unidirectional Digital Cable Products and to Provide for Appropriate Labeling of Such Products at 1-6;  Encoding Rules As Proposed tothe FCC  at 1-10. 8 NCTA/CEA Letter at 3.  Federal Communications Commission FCC 03-3 3 ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS 5.    Authority . This  Further     Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  is issued pursuant to authoritycontained in §§ 1, 4(i), 4(j), 303, 403, 601, 624A and 629 of the Communications Act of 1934, asamended.6.    Ex Parte Rules – Non-Restricted Proceeding  . This is a non-restricted notice andcomment rulemaking proceeding. Ex parte presentations are permitted, except during the SunshineAgenda period, provided that they are disclosed as provided in the Commission’s Rules. See generally 47C.F.R. §§ 1.1202, 1.1203, and 1.1206(a).7.    Accessibility Information . Accessible formats of this  Further Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking  (computer diskettes, large print, audio recording and Braille) are available to persons withdisabilities by contacting Brian Millin, of the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-7426, TTY (202) 418-7365, or at bmillin@fcc.gov.8.   Comment Information . Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules,47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments on or before March 28, 2003 , and replycomments on or before April 28, 2003 . Comments may be filed using the Commission's ElectronicComment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents inRulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24121 (1998).9.   Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to<http://www.fcc.gov/e-file/ecfs.html>. Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must befiled. If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, however,commenters must transmit one electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, commenters should include their fullname, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties mayalso submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions for e-mail comments,commenters should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and should include the following words in the bodyof the message, get form <your e-mail address>. A sample form and directions will be sent in reply.Parties who choose to file by paper must file an srcinal and four copies of each filing. If more than onedocket or rulemaking number appear in the caption of this proceeding, commenters must submit twoadditional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Servicemail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). TheCommission's contractor, Vistronix, Inc., will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Suite 110, Washington, D.C.20002. The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be heldtogether with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sentto 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, ExpressMail, and Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20554. All filingsmust be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal CommunicationsCommission.10.    Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis . This  Further Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking  contains proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995(PRA). It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under the PRA.OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the proposed informationcollection(s) contained in this proceeding.11.   Written comments by the public on the proposed information collection(s) are due 60  Federal Communications Commission FCC 03-3 4days from date of publication of this  Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  in the Federal Register.Written comments must be submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget and other interested parties on the proposed information collection(s) on or before 60 days from date of publicationof this  Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  in the Federal Register. In addition to filing commentswith the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the information collection(s) contained herein should besubmitted to Judith Boley Herman, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C804, 445 12 th Street,SW, Washington, DC 20554, or via the Internet to jboley@fcc.gov, and to Kim A. Johnson, OMB Desk Officer, Room 10236 NEOB, 725 17 th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20503, or via the Internet toKim_A._Johnson@omb.eop.gov.12.    Regulatory Flexibility Act  . As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 9 theCommission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (“IRFA”) of the possible significanteconomic impact on a substantial number of small entities of the proposals addressed in this  Further     Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  . The IRFA is set forth in Appendix A. Written public comments arerequested on the IRFA. These comments must be filed in accordance with the same filing deadlines for comments on the  Further     Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  , and they should have a separate and distinctheading designating them as responses to the IRFA. ORDERING CLAUSES 13.   IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 303, 403, 601, 624A and 629 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 151, 154(i) and (j), 303, 403, 521, 544a, 549, COMMENT IS HEREBY SOUGHT on the proposals in this  Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  .14.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental AffairsBureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this  Further Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking  , including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small BusinessAdministration, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 10  FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONMarlene H. DortchSecretary 9   See 5 U.S.C. § 603. 10   See 5 U.S.C. § 603(a).
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