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ACA Unveils Blue-Ribbon Panels For Group's 17th Annual Summit

ACA Unveils Blue-Ribbon Panels For Group's 17th Annual Summit

PITTSBURGH, March 25, 2010 - The American Cable Association is very pleased to announce that this year's ACA Summit will include an impressive lineup of government officials and industry executives who will help shape and decide key public policy issues in the near future, including retransmission consent reform, Universal Service Fund support for broadband, and the pending Comcast-NBC Universal merger.

Senior staff members from Congress and top Federal Communications Commission policy advisors are among those who will be frontline participants in discussion panels at the 17th Annual ACA Summit on Tuesday, April 20.

FCC officials scheduled to speak are as follows: 

  • Sherrese Smith: Legal Advisor for Media, Consumer and Enforcement Issues, Office of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski;
  • Brad Gillen: Legal Advisor for Media Law Issues, Office of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker; and
  • Rick Kaplan: Acting Chief of Staff, Office of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

 Capitol Hill staff members expected as panelists include: 

  • Brian Hendricks, Minority Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation;
  • Roger C. Sherman, Chief Majority Counsel, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee; and
  • Seth Bloom, Senior Majority Counsel, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The ACA Summit will serve once again as an important venue for debate and discussion of the most critical issues of the day as a result of the participation of senior FCC and Congressional staff members at the center of it all," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Decisions that could alter the media and telecommunications landscape for many years to come for the independent cable community are now teed up before the FCC and Congress. For example, the FCC's new National Broadband Plan will spur policy consideration of marketplace innovation to put more control over all forms of communications into the hands of consumers.  We want to talk about what that means to our members and their customers." 

From the industry perspective, the ACA Summit will also include a panel of executives to discuss today's policy initiatives, including:  

  • Tyrone Brown: President and CEO, Media Access Project (MAP)
  • David Donovan, President, Association of Maximum Service Television (MSTV); and
  • Kyle McSlarrow, President & CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA);
  • John Rose, President, Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO);
  • Matthew M. Polka, President & CEO, American Cable Association (ACA); and
  • Paul S. Maxwell (Moderator), Owner & CEO, Media Business Corp.

As previously announced, Blair Levin, Executive Director of the FCC's Omnibus Broadband Initiative, will be the Summit's Keynote Session speaker on April 20.

The backdrop for this year's ACA Summit includes the FCC's recently launched review of retransmission consent policies in light of recent controversies that exposed millions of consumers to the loss of government-subsidized commercial broadcast signals. Another issue is whether billions of dollars in federal money will fund broadband access providers to deliver service to the truly unserved and not to places where broadband already exists. Threats to a healthy, competitive market posed by Comcast's deal to acquire NBCU are certain to spark interesting debate.

"For insightful discussions on these topics and more, ACA has assembled experienced leadership panels with unquestioned knowledge of the evolving policy process in which independent cable operators have so much at stake," Polka said. "ACA members always appreciate the opportunity to express their views and concerns directly to the people in charge of the nation's communications policy agenda."

ACA Summit 2010 will take place on April 19-21 at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, a major visitor destination convenient to downtown Washington, D.C. 

The Summit is a unique forum that highlights the special role that independent cable operators play in providing state-of-the-art communications services to rural communities across the nation. Independent cable operators are playing a critical role in ensuring that every American has affordable access to broadband infrastructure vital to keeping American strong and secure.

Please visit the ACA Summit 2010 site by clicking here or visiting http://www.acasummit.org/

About the American Cable Association

Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 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 http://www.americancable.org/

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