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Top 10 MSOs Embrace Powell DTV Plan

By Ted Hearn
Courtesy of Multichannel News

The nation's top 10 cable operators Wednesday embraced the voluntary digital-TV-transition plan sponsored by Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell.

The industry's decision to endorse the plan was conveyed in a letter to Powell from National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert Sachs.

'I applaud the cable industry for its leadership in helping us to deliver on the promise of digital television for the American people. I am pleased that the cable companies have embraced my challenge with solid commitments, and I look forward to similar strides by the other industries in the coming weeks,' Powell said in a prepared statement.

In the letter, Sachs said the cable operators planned to comply with key provisions of the plan, including that cable systems with 750 megahertz of channel capacity would carry up to five high-definition-TV signals from broadcasters (commercial or noncommercial) or cable networks.

The MSOs would meet this commitment by Jan. 1 in the top 100 markets on systems with more than 25,000 subscribers, Sachs added.

'The cable initiative … together with the other voluntary industry actions suggested by you on April 4, should provide an important boost to the DTV transition,' Sachs told Powell.

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