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Cable Broadband Providers Are 'No-Asks' at Broadband Hearing

Capitol Building
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The House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing Wednesday--with witnesses--entitled "Connecting America: Broadband Solutions to Pandemic Problems," but wired broadband providers and/or their advocates were nowhere to be found, despite their central role in coming up with those solutions.

Turns out it wasn't that they were no-shows. They were "no-asks"

NCTA-The Internet & Cable Association, the largest association representing wired broadband providers, had no comment, but a source familiar with the group said the reason it was not represented was that it had not been asked. "We were not invited to testify," said ACA Connects VP of communications Ted Hearn.

Committee spokespeople had not returned a request for comment at press time on the absence of any wired broadband association of company representative, or from major wireless associations USTelecom and CTIA.

The hearing included legislators sometimes complaining about the price of wire--and wireless--broadband service and industry critics doing the same, while still talking about the need for wired connections to "fully engage in distance learning" as Matt Wood from Free Press put it. 

Then there was Christopher Shelton, president of the Communications Workers of America, who told the committee that cable providers were "infamous for striking deals with each other to swap customers, creating cable monopolies in areas they deem profitable enough to serve, and using their dominance to avoid pressure for upgrades."

Jonathan Adelstein, president of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, was invited and said that his industry was meeting the broadband challenge and performing "exceedingly well."