As Day Two spun up at The Cable Show 2011, NCTA’s new President and CEO Michael Powell sat down to chat with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The two talked about a wide range of topics including outdated telecom laws that no longer reflect a converged media world. Genachowski said he saw the need for a broader rewrite of those laws, but until that happens we will be challenged by having to deal with one issue at a time. Genachowski also urged cable to create state versions of C-Span around the country to open the doors of state houses to citizens.
As the two discussed the role of broadband in the US, Genachowski recognized the cable industry’s infrastructure investments – calling it one of the great American success stories. He noted that cable makes broadband available to 93% of the US and did so starting with nothing but private investment and pioneers looking for a new way to deliver television.
Discussing the “terrible economic situation of the last few years,” Genachowski suggested that US broadband will be one of the key drivers to turn the economy around. Discussing US broadband more broadly, the Chairman noted the US leads most of the world in 4G, video programming, and both wired and wireless deployment and adoption.
Powell asked Genachowski about the ongoing issue of households that have access to broadband, but choose not to adopt. Genachowski noted the broadband gap of people without access, the spectrum gap of people without access to mobile, and the adoption gap. He suggested that having 67% of Americans connected was simply not good enough and hailed efforts by Cox, Comcast and other operators to address the access problem.
Genachowski called on the broadband industry to help close the adoption gap and repeated his intention to create a broadband task force to address the problem.
Michael Turk is a Partner in CRAFT | Media / Digital, a full-spectrum communications agency. Learn more about CRAFT at www.craftdc.com