But the FCC did mandate the inclusion of 1394 as an open option for STB's. Unfortunately, they didn't also specify that they had to actually work. But your point about copy-protected material is well-taken. Cox seems very proud of their "whole-house" solution, which can only connect two satellite boxes. My GigE/Windows Media Center solution is literally through the whole house. Granted, I do have to deal with the Microsoft DRM, but that has become more tolerable in the latest incarnation.
No one expects the FCC to provide regulations about what home network to use. The ARE expected to set rules to help drive open pay-TV ready gateways into retail markets...as for MoCA, coax is the one well sheilded wire that exists broadly in the home to handle copy protected HD video for multiroom DVR, thus Dish, Cox, TWC, Comcast and Verizon are adopting it.
This certainly makes sense for a wiring choice of convenience with conversion to and from Ethernet, but as you said the norm today is to install CAT5 or better. Why would we want to encourage (or even force) people to stay with an older wiring standard?
The problem is that these guys are building MoCA directly into the set-top boxes and even (based on the article) pushing the FCC to codify it into the interface standard.
Larry, in many older homes -- before it became common to run CAT5 through the walls during construction -- 'legacy coax' is already the primary home wiring for broadband. MoCA enables new uses for that coax, as we are seeing with multi-room DVR. There are lots of other application possibilities that could be enabled by a MoCA-based broadband network in the home.
For many homeowners, the only other wired broadband networking option is broadband over powerline (BPL).
In the absence of either MoCA or BPL, we are left with just 802.11, or busting up walls to add new wiring. For me, 802.11n has been a reasonably effective way to share multimedia content among different rooms in my house, but only between computers and my WiFi-capable mobile devices -- my DVR set-top boxes are still islands to themselves. I would love it if SOME kind of home networking technology would allow me to share the content on those DVRs among all my devices.
If a MoCA-based home network could enable that for me, I'd be happy to make the investment in new hardware. I'm sure there are millions of others who would agree.
I have to say that I have trouble envisioning MoCA as a primary home wiring technology. I can certainly see it as a bridge path to get to a location which can't be reached by Ethernet, but I would be much more likely to convert Enet - MoCA - Enet in that case. Is there something that I am missing here other than the reuse of legacy coax?