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FCC grants waiver for smaller cable operators to pass HD signals

The FCC has granted to small cable operators — those servicing less than 2500 subscribers — a three-year waiver that eases requirements to pass along HD broadcast signals to their subscribers.

The cable operators will be given a three-year break from the FCC’s 2001 decision that requires cable operators to pass along all HDTV signals to subscribers after this February’s DTV transition.

In addition to the 2500 or less subscriber requirement, the order grants relief to cable operators with 552MHz or less capacity. However, the operator cannot be owned by a larger cable enterprise with more than 10 percent of subscribers nationwide.

The waiver was supported by the American Cable Association.