[Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO of NCTA, has written the following op-ed piece, which appears in today’s edition of CableFAX. I actually attended the ’96 conference, then called The National Show, which Kyle references below and the cable industry has indeed changed dramatically since that time.]
The Cable Show’s return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1996 provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the tremendous progress our industry has made since our last visit to Southern California. In fact, there may not be an industry in America that has so dramatically transformed itself so quickly.
In 1996, our distribution platform was a one-way analog system. Our platform today provides an interactive communications network that entertains and informs with tremendous award winning content, connects millions to an amazing broadband Internet experience, provides superior and affordable digital phone service and offers a growing array of interactive services that have changed the way we consume media and entertainment.
Our industry’s transformation has benefited consumers, our economy, and America’s global competitiveness. Since 1996, our industry has invested $185 billion to produce the most creative and widest variety of programming that is available; and, $160 billion in massive infrastructure upgrades, maintenance and equipment that can deliver five gigabits per second of data. And, despite a challenging economy, we continue to invest and innovate.
We should probably stop talking about the “convergence” around the corner. It is here now. Cable service is no longer just video, and content is no longer just viewed through the TV. Broadband has become a “must have,” and the Internet economy has exploded. Consumers are in the driver’s seat as they continue to witness more choice, new platforms, and optimization of their personal telecom services.
Words can hardly do justice to the myriad ways that our industry is now an integral part of life for millions of consumers. So, if you are one of the thousands joining us at The Cable Show, experience yourself cable’s impact by visiting the centerpiece of the show’s exhibit floor, My World—Powered by Cable. It’s an inspiring, immersive journey into the new era of anytime, anywhere, anyway-you-want-it content and communication. Modeled after a Hollywood back-lot, My World leads visitors through a virtual world of buildings, neighborhoods and living spaces brought to life through the connective power of our services. It demonstrates the full breadth of our industry’s ability to provide media and communications experiences the way you want it. And throughout the show floor, you’ll find more than 300 exhibitors displaying our industry’s greatest content, services and technologies
Right next to My World, CableNET highlights the latest emerging services, including ultrafast broadband, advanced advertising, interactive television, 3D TV and much more.
We’ve also got a great line-up of general sessions and panels that will tap into some of the most creative minds from our industry, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. And even though we are far from Washington, you’ll find a robust public policy program featuring top officials from the federal government and the Obama Administration.
So, welcome to Los Angeles and your world.