Cablevision is asking the Federal Communications Commission if it can encrypt its basic cable channels, according to Multichannel News.
The FCC imposed the ban on encrypting basic cable channels in 1994 so consumers would not have to rent or buy set-top boxes.
Cablevision says that if it can encrypt it can cut costs and reduce theft of service.
According to the article, Cablevision "argued that with its high digital penetration rate ‘almost all customers will already have equipment necessary to view digital, and by extension encrypted, programming.’
"Furthermore, Cablevision asserted, ‘Today’s cable subscribers typically do not have an expectation — or the capability — of receiving digital-cable services without a set-top box.’ "