FCC will allow encryption of basic cable, offers measures to protect open access

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The days of plugging a TV into the wall and getting cable are coming to an end. After a lengthy review process, the FCC has granted cable operators permission to encrypt their most basic cable programming. But the commission is inserting a number of measures it’s hoping will prevent the public from suddenly finding themselves without access and open the door for third-party set-top boxes like the upcoming Boxee TV. That’s a major breakthrough for a cable industry that has notoriously been locked down over the years. In order for the six largest US cable providers — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, and AT&T – to get the go-ahead for encryption, they’ll need to meet one of two requirements.

The first involves…

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