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Rep. Markey Praises Independent Cable Operators

Co-Author Of The 1992 Cable Act Addresses Dinner Honoring ACA’s 20th Anniversary

PITTSBURGH, March 14, 2013 - Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) praised independent cable television operators for their critical role in creating jobs and spreading broadband services across America through marketplace competition.

Addressing nearly 300 independent cable operators at the American Cable Association's 20th Washington Summit, Rep. Markey said Tuesday evening, "In the modern [telecommunications] age, smaller competitors drive the marketplace.  ACA is an essential part of this age.  You are the job creators and innovators.  You are the heartbeat."

Rep. Markey cited the need to provide access to modern technology to everyone in America, saying, "The rules must assure that the Davids can compete with the Goliaths."

Rep. Markey noted how telecommunications legislation - including the Pole Attachment Act of 1978 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 -- fostered competition from smaller players by removing barriers to entry.  He cited pole attachment rights, access to programming at reasonable costs and telephone number portability as examples.

New laws and private sector investment have combined to spur the deployment of broadband technology to millions of Americans, he said.

"In February 1996, not one home in the U.S. had broadband access.  Today, 85% of ACA's members provide broadband services," Rep. Markey said.

Elected to the House of Representatives in 1976, Rep. Markey represents the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' 5th Congressional district, a diverse community that includes quaint New England suburbs and bustling beach-front towns.  The district is home to Lexington Green, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired, and the streets ridden by Paul Revere to warn the British were coming.

In addition to co-authoring the 1992 Cable Act and other laws overseeing the nation's broadcasters and multichannel video providers, Rep. Markey is a champion of Net Neutrality and nondiscrimination on the Internet and for new sources of effective competition to cable companies, local telephone operators, and satellite TV firms and other wireless services.

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 7.4 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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