PITTSBURGH, March 14, 2013 - In remarks to independent cable operators, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he is concerned that the deployment of infrastructure may not be keeping pace with the rapid move to all-IP networks and services.
"We are barreling toward an all-IP world, but the broadband infrastructure required may not be there," Sen. Heller said Wednesday.
Sen. Heller's comments came during a speech at ACA's historic 20th anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C., attended by hundreds of independent cable operators and other attendees, including the print and electronic media.
Sen. Heller also expressed concern about the lack of regulatory parity between traditional and online video service providers. He noted that while the telecommunications industry has changed in unforeseen ways, "the current regulatory system is outdated. Older, regulated companies and newer, unregulated companies are providing the same services."
Sen. Heller said that Congress couldn't wait much longer to rectify the balance.
"Failure to enact telecommunications reform will affect consumers," Heller said. "Government cannot stand in the way of the IP transition. Congress cannot regulate broadband the same as the old wired universe without slowing down deployment and progress."
Heller also called on regulators to consider the impact of proposed regulations on the labor market.
The litmus test for new policy, he said, is the question: "Does this regulation create jobs or kill jobs?"
Sen. Heller added that ACA must be part of the continuing discussion. "Your voice is needed to enable the competition that ensures robust deployment, quality service and affordability."
Questioned about FCC reform, Sen. Heller said that many options are possible but Congressional oversight must be part of any changes.
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 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/. For more details about the ACA 2013 Summit, visit http://acasummit.org/.
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