NATIONAL HARBOR, MD., April 29, 2009 - Motivated by the number of fresh faces on Capitol Hill as well as the recently announced broadband stimulus program, attendees turned out in force to meet with policymakers during the American Cable Association's 16th Annual Summit held this week. ACA tallied 286 attendees representing 150 companies compared to last year's 266 attendees from 130 companies.
"Given the changes in Washington, ACA's members are optimistic that our message about marketplace opportunities and disparities will resonate with the 111th Congress. We're thrilled to have a record-breaking number of companies here in D.C. to share their perspectives with policymakers," ACA president and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
Summit attendees participated in 155 meetings with policymakers to tout how small and medium-sized operators are ideal candidates for receiving much of the $7.2 billion in grant and loan funding to carry out Congress' and the Administration's broadband deployment goals.
"Independent cable operators are private entities with the financial, operational and technical experience running reliable, sustainable networks in small towns and rural areas-places that are intended to benefit from broadband stimulus programs," Polka said.
Additional discussion centered on reauthorization the Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA). ACA members urged members of Congress to extend enhanced localism rights to cable television viewers if also offered to satellite television customers.
In addition to their appointments on Capitol Hill, Summit attendees attended general sessions on broadband stimulus grants, Senate and House Commerce and Judiciary Committee members' legislative outlook for 2009, industry association leaders' views on the state of the industry, and ACA's role in independent cable's future. A photo gallery of ACA's Summit can be viewed at www.acasummit.org.
About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 900 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 www.americancable.org.
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