PITTSBURGH, March 14, 2013 - Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) yesterday addressed independent cable operators at ACA's Summit in Washington, D.C., praising the trade group for reaching out to Congress on the key issues and deploying broadband technology in rural areas.
Noting the 20th anniversary of ACA, Sen. Blunt observed that telecommunications policy hasn't kept up with industry changes over the past two decades. "Today we have broadband, Netflix, iPhones and 900 cable channels-but our laws are archaic, written in the days of dial-up service," Blunt said.
Sen. Blunt said that without ACA "rural communities across the country would go unserved. ACA members are our hometown cable, Internet and often telephone providers."
Sen. Blunt addressed a key issue for ACA: Government financial support for broadband providers that compete against ACA members who do not receive such support.
"Government must not fund [new] competitors where an existing business has already invested its own money to provide broadband services. This is very different from bringing broadband access to areas that would otherwise not be served," Sen. Blunt said.
Sen. Blunt added that federal policy "must keep the playing field balanced."
Rep. Barrow praised ACA's leadership for its professionalism and advocacy. He added that ACA Members' visits to Capitol Hill lawmakers greatly influence Congress' decisions.
"When you ACA members visit Washington, you make a statement. What people back home think greatly influences what Congress does," Rep. Barrow said.
Independent cable operators from communities all across the great American heartland are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week to celebrate two decades of achievement at the 20th Summit.
The ACA Summit - cable's premier event for smaller, independent and competitive cable operators - is widely considered the best opportunity for small business owners serving hometown America with advanced communications services to advocate for change in face-to-face exchanges with Obama Administration officials, Capitol Hill lawmakers and senior FCC personnel.
The 20th ACA Summit extends a long tradition as the most important forum nationally to honor the critical role played by independent cable operators that serve rural and remote regions of the country that are typically much more costly to build out with advanced technology.
The year's ACA Summit is once again underscoring the trade group's firm commitment to finding consensus and highlighting progress made on many critical issues, especially retransmission consent, broadband deployment and access to content on fair and reasonable terms.
For further information about the ACA Summit 2013 agenda and the exciting lineup of speakers please visit: http://acasummit.org/
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/.
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