ArsTechnica reports that a July 15 visit by Intel representatives to the FCC wasn't a social call. Instead, Intel is encouraging the FCC to mandate the addition of Ethernet ports to the set-top boxes used by cable TV companies. Their rationale? IP based networking is just about everywhere, except in cable TV, and it's about time to enable cable TV to join the home networking revolution.
Why is Intel asking the FCC to mandate an Ethernet port? Back in 2003, the FCC mandated the availability of IEEE-1394 (FireWire) ports in set-top boxes. While the 2003 case was a clear example of the government telling the cable TV industry, "Do this now," the other example Intel cited, a 2007 agreement among major cable TV companies to adopt the CableLabs tru2way two-way interface , is actually a private industry agreement, ArsTechnica points out.
So, what's the right way to get cable TV set-top boxes on the network? Should the FCC mandate it, or should the industry encourage its members to get with the program? Hit the Comments button and tell us what you think.