Sunday, April 3, 2005

NCTA Keynote: "Cable Puts YOU in Control"

National Cable & Telecommunications Association opened its 54th annual convention in San Francisco under the theme: "Cable Puts YOU in Control."

Kyle McSlarrow, the NCTA's President and CEO, asserted that cable's digital broadband technology is the platform for the future. He said the industry must pursue an approach to regulation that encourages competition and investment. In his opening address, McSlarrow outlined the NCTA's core regulatory principles, based on the belief that "like services should be treated alike." Second, these services are most appropriately regulated under uniform national standards. VOIP should have minimum regulations, but the industry should bear the responsibility of providing emergency 9-1-1 service, meeting certain requirements to allow law enforcement to fight crime and terrorism, and participating in the Universal Service Fund. All multichannel video providers should continue to make service available to all residents, regardless of income. They should protect subscriber privacy; offer equal employment opportunities; make channel blocking equipment available; and comply with consumer protection obligations.

Some statistics on the U.S. cable industry:

  • 24 million digital cable customers;

  • 20 million cable modem subscribers and availability in 90% of markets;

  • 3 million cable telephone customers;

  • HDTV now available to all 100 of the top markets in the country


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