PITTSBURGH, March 18, 2014 - The American Cable Association today announced that U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a Capitol Hill leader with a solid record of bipartisan accomplishment in advancing broadband services and infrastructure in rural America, will deliver remarks on April 2 to ACA's 21st Annual Summit in Washington, D.C., providing the independent cable operator community with an inside look at the telecommunications landscape for the balance of 2014.
"ACA is very delighted that Rep. Welch will address ACA members at their annual convention in our nation's capital. Rep. Welch is widely respected for his expertise on key communications policy issues, and he stands out as someone who understands the needs of independent cable operators and their dedication to policies that promote choice and competition in hometown America," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
This year's ACA Summit will coincide with independent cable's ongoing efforts to reform retransmission consent; halt separately owned, same-market TV stations from creating virtual duopolies in an effort to drive up the cost of retransmission consent; and ensure the ability of a buying group like the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) to avail itself of the pro-competitive program access rules, as well as much, much more.
Rep. Welch, elected to the House in 2006, is member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Last Wednesday, the Subcommittee held a hearing on reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), and whether to include targeted reforms of retransmission consent and other changes sought by ACA Members.
Rep. Welch has taken several steps to raise the profile of rural communications issues in Congress. Last April, Rep. Welch and Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) formed a bipartisan working group of Energy and Commerce members seeking to promote rural telecommunication issues within the Committee. The 18-member group, called the Rural Telecommunications Working Group (RTWG), is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.
Over the past year, the RTWG has provided a forum for Committee Members to learn more about how telecommunications issues in the Committee's jurisdiction impact rural communities. Issues that the RTWG has highlighted include call completion, spectrum auctions, broadband access, and broadband speeds.
"Rep. Welch knows our issues very well, and I am certain that ACA Members will benefit greatly from his remarks in a year where the passage of key reforms is quite possible," Polka said.
This year's 21st annual ACA Summit will take place April 1-3 at the Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. The ACA Summit is a unique forum that highlights the special role that independent cable operators play in providing world class communications services to consumers in hometown markets throughout the United States.
Previously, ACA announced that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is scheduled to speak April 2 at the ACA Summit on his ideas and outlook for U.S. communications policy in the coming years in a question-and-answer session with ACA's Polka.
ACA also announces that registration for the ACA Summit is now open for D.C. government relations professionals and partners and associates at law firms. The one-day registration pass for April 2 will permit attendees to observe all keynote sessions and panels, including the Q&A with Chairman Wheeler.
The theme of this year's summit - Our Time Is NOW! - underscores the important legislative and regulatory goals ACA and its Members are pursuing on Capitol Hill and at the FCC.
Registration for ACA Members and D.C. Professionals; Call for Exhibitors and Sponsors:
The ACA Summit website includes event details and secure online registration for ACA members. Separate registration to attend the Summit on Wednesday, April 2, for D.C. government relations professionals and law firm partners and associates is also available on the ACA Summit website. Registration for the day pass includes breakfast and lunch, attendance at all keynote sessions and other panels, and exclusive exhibit hours.
ACA is currently seeking exhibitors and sponsors for the event. Interested parties should contact Stacey Leech at email@example.com or 412.922.8300, ext. 15.
Please visit the ACA Summit 2014 website by clicking here: ACA Summit.
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 nearly 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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