Comcast reclaiming spectrum in 50% of markets in 2009

Comcast's CFO says the cable company expects to reclaim the majority of analog channels in about half of its footprint this year. "All digital" is currently taking place in Portland with "minimal disruptions," says the company.

For Comcast, "All-Digital" is defined as getting rid of 50 to 60 analog channels while keeping around 30 broadcast channels in analog. To receive the full basic cable lineup, subscribers who don't have a digital setup box need a digital-to-analog adapter connected to their TV sets.

At a later date, Comcast will talk about what their return on investment from switching to "all digital," with expected benefits such as reducing cable theft and providing "revenue uplift" (i.e. more sales for video on demand).

Going "all digital" for Comcast is also necessary to support the company's DOCSIS 3.0 efforts. Fewer analog channels translates to more available bandwidth for wideband Internet, plus VOD and other value-added services.

Comcast also said that the AT&T and Verizon are into about 20 percent or so of its territory and expects that to grow to 30 percent by the end of the year. However, the company "is continuing to take share" from them on voice as well as data.

For more:
- Multichannel News reports.

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