Denver, Colo and Lenexa, KS, July 28, 2014 – The Comcast Wholesale division of Comcast Cable, and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) today announced the renewal of a multi-year agreement for the HITS National Authorization Service (NAS). NAS compliments other services from HITS by providing NCTC members with centrally managed solutions that can reduce the costs for offering digital video and IP services to their customers, including a robust lineup of HD channels, video on demand (VOD) and broadband Internet access.
Originally launched in 1996 in partnership with a leading manufacturer of digital set top boxes (STBs), NAS today is wholly owned and operated by Comcast Wholesale, which also announced a number of service enhancements as part of its ongoing investment in solutions tailored to the needs of the industry’s independent cable operator community.
The NAS conditional access platform provides cable system operators with a cost effective alternative to purchasing and operating the headend management systems required for managing permissions, set-top boxes (STBs), and interactive programming guides (IPGs). These centralized services also support offering pay per view (PPV), video on demand (VOD) programming and meeting EAS (Emergency Alert System) requirements.
Comcast Wholesale’s latest innovations for the centrally managed NAS platform expand its centralized conditional access platform to support uDTAs as well as a wide range of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 STBs and retail devices using CableCards™. Encryption of uDTAs from NAS allows cable operators to purchase and install low-cost DTAs and wall-plate devices from a choice of vendors. In addition, the NAS uDTA solution supports offering a multi-room IPG, which enables content stored on one DVR to be viewed on DTAs throughout the customer’s home. NCTC members and other cable system operators using uDTA encryption from NAS can also deliver multiple tiers of digital video packages to DTAs within their existing billing environments.
“HITS remains an important asset for many of NCTC’s members, and the renewal of the NAS agreement ensures that members can continue to depend on Comcast Wholesale and HITS for their digital service,” said Corey McCarthy, NCTC’s CFO and SVP of Business Development.
The NAS agreement compliments the organization’s success in providing its members with the opportunity to purchase uDTAs, STBs and CableCard devices from a range of manufacturers.
“Our new agreement with NCTC is the latest step forward in an 18-year partnership that has collaborated on solutions allowing the industry’s independently owned cable operators to remain competitive and grow their businesses,” stated Barry Tishgart, Vice President, Comcast Wholesale. “The ongoing investments we make in innovations such as NAS, the HITS Q2 Platform and our IP Services suite, illustrate the benefits of utilizing solutions pioneered and supported by an industry leader that has a first-hand understanding of a cable operator’s business requirements.”
The HITS portfolio also includes an IP services suite, which provides cable system operators with a highly competitive alternative for meeting their Internet transit and data connectivity needs by using Comcast’s 40,000 route-mile national IP backbone and, where applicable, Comcast Metro Ethernet connections.