Cable faces increasing effective competition but with an impressive "head start" with the enormous capability of its broadband infrastructure already in place and an enviable subscriber base of over sixty five million, Commissioner James H. Quello told the NCTA convention Wednesday.
Quello was a featured speaker before a record-breaking closing lunch where he was presented an NCTA distinguished service award as "Commissioner and Chairman 1974-1997 for his uncommon devotion to his country in war and peace." The award was presented by NCTA Chairman Ted Turner.
Quello characterized its "thumbs up" for cable's future with a long list of positive aspects. He said, "Remember your core business is strong and exceptionally well positioned with a broadband infrastructure in place with great future capabilities."
"Cable can offer high speed Internet access and data processing and a two-way capability all in place without a dial up requirement."
"You have important, popular program choices for your customers -- the latest examples is the huge public acceptance of the new channels such as History, Lifetime for Warner and Romance Classic channels.
"Cable has digital transmission and telephone service capability."
"It is now very significant that you have the important local TV news, information, sports services and emergency bulletins without the troublesome negotiations facing DBS."
"You are authorized to pass through valid external costs for increases in programming, franchise fees or inflation costs."
"Cable starts from an impressive base of over 65 million compared with a little over four million for DBS."
"Cable has resourceful seasoned leaders who for years have successfully withstood many previous challenges of competition and regulation."
"So, it's 'thumbs up' for cable's competitive future," Quello concluded.