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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 15, 2008

RCN Rolls Out All-Digital Cable in NYC

By Arun Satapathy, TMCnet Contributor

RCN (News - Alert) Corporation, a provider of digital television, data, and voice services, announced that its New York network is switching to all digital programming starting next month.
“By going all-digital, we can provide the consumers of the great Empire City a superior alternative to the incumbent cable and phone products,” said RCN CEO and President Peter Aquino (News - Alert), in a statement. “At launch, we are able to increase our HD channels to more than 75 channels and are positioned to make good on the promise of offering approximately 100 HD channels or more in the future.”
Digitalization will help RCN to provide up to 10 standard-definition digital or three HD channels per analog channel, with better picture quality, and use some of the reclaimed spectrum to support growing high-speed data services demand. The conversion will begin in Queens and will continue over the next 4-5 months, RCN said. All RCN subscribers will be notified before their service area is converted.
“Our move to an all-digital network frees up bandwidth so we can provide our New York City area customers with an explosion of entertainment choices and have more expanded Basic Digital TV channels than ever before,” said RCN Vice President and General Manager Anthony Ontiveros, in a statement.
After converting to all digital, RCN's New York City customers will need standard digital converter box or cable card to view the new line-ups. HD and HD/DVR converters can also be used and are necessary to view HD channels.
"Digital is the future direction of the industry, especially with the Federal Communication Commission’s mandate that all broadcast channels be transmitted digitally by February 17, 2009," Ontiveros said. "While RCN’s exciting new services will require subscribers to have a digital converter box or cable card, which will be offered for a discounted monthly rate in New York City, our all-digital network opens up a digital revolution that brings an exciting world of opportunities and choice for our customers."

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year — is going on this week (September 16-18, 2008) in Los Angeles, California! The show features three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Be sure to check out TMCnet.com and blogs from Rich Tehrani, Greg Galitzine, and Tom Keating for news highlights from the show. See you there!

Arun Satapathy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arun's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke