Ok cell phones can take SIM cards with the carrier info on it, why not modems? Think about it, seems like they would have some like that anyway, just go to the ISP get your card & put it in the modem.
Welcome to, CABLE CARDS! Been there, done that. Seriously, around 10 years ago, LOTS of set-top-boxes and modems had cable card slots, which essentially were the same idea as a SIM card. Even cable-ready TVs had them. But the idea was problematic and prone to bad cards, bad network associations, etc., and most US cable companies (can't say for other countries) went back to the MAC coding and system assignments.
Having just moved, Cox Communications set up a line install, registered my cable modem (which I own) MAC address, and gave me a key code for activation at the new address. We got the move done, hooked up the PCs and modem, immediately got the activation key, typed in the key code I got at the counter, and we were on in 30 seconds. No card needed.
So that's what cable cards were, I thoughy they nlet you watch cable on your PC.
There are cable tuner cards for the PCI and PCIe slots. Different critter.
Cable cards were similar to PCMCIA cards in form factor and plug type, and slotted into the equipment.
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