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Event-Filled September Has Cable Folks Racking Up Miles

Traveling much, cable folks?

Last week was Diversity Week in New York, which meant many industry people came to The Wire’s hometown for the Women in Cable & Telecommunications Leadership Conference, the National Association of Minorities in Communications conference and the Walter Kaitz Foundation dinner.

Highlights for The Wire included:

NBC’s long-time diplomatic correspondent Andrea Mitchell telling WICT attendees about covering Hillary Clinton’s visit to a women’s summit in Beijing, China, in 1995, when she was first lady, speaking out for women’s rights over the strong objections of President Clinton’s national security advisers.

African-American astronaut Leland Melvin, who flew two missions on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2008 and 2009 after being drafted by the National Football League’s Detroit Lions (an injury derailed his football career), telling NAMIC attendees about the value of inclusion and teamwork in accomplishing goals.

And Michael Powell, head of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, vividly pointing out how the “anemic levels of diversity of the police force and the city political leadership” in Ferguson, Mo., contributed to the anger and ugly scenes in the streets there after the Michael Brown police shooting this summer.

Those events were not the only ones drawing people with cable-industry connections, though.

The massive IBC technology gathering (55,000-plus attendees) was wrapping its lengthy run in Amsterdam in the Netherlands: the conference was Sept. 11-15 and the exhibition was Sept. 12-16.

The short window between when IBC ended and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ Cable-Tec Expo got underway in Denver (preconference symposium sessions start today, Sept. 22) meant loads of travel for attendees — and headaches for technology firms exhibiting their wares.

“Vendors had to figure out what goes over the Atlantic what goes to Denver,” MCN contributor Leslie Ellis noted, after returning to her home in Denver last Thursday. She had gone to IBC, then emceed Liberty Global’s in-house Global Tech Summit at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome last Wednesday. (For more, see Translation Please.) Ziggo Dome attendees also included SCTE CEO Mark Dzuban.

And on Thursday and Friday, CTAM Europe held its EuroSummit at a hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. Former CTAM CEO Char Beales told The Wire on Friday that about 300 people attended that event, where they were treated to an informative chat between Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Netflix launched in five European countries last week.

If you are in Denver this week for SCTE, pick up the MCN-produced official show daily, which also will be distributed in digital form. And try to get some rest.

— Kent Gibbons and R. Thomas Umstead

All is FAIR In Love and PR

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D.-Calif.) has announced the results of her Reddit contest to rebrand the Internet-neutrality debate.

The winners were chosen by Reddit readers and posters from more than 28,000 votes on 3,671 different entries and comments, according to Eshoo’s office.

Getting the most votes was Freedom Against Internet Restrictions (FAIR), at 1,146 votes, submitted by PortentPortentPorter; second was Freedom to Connect (F2C) at 607 votes, submitted by thelimitededition; and third was The Old McDonald Act: Equal Internet for Everyone Involved Online (EIEIO), with 547 votes, submitted by trigatch4.

Eshoo, ranking member of the House Communications Subcommittee, also pointed out in announcing the winners that about 5,000 users voted on the best policy approach to achieving network neutrality, and that all the votes were for reclassifying Internet access providers under Title II of the Communications Act.

Eshoo has said that the FCC could use s a lighttouch Title II approach to recraft the networkneutrality rules.

She launched the contest last month, saying the term “network neutrality” was too ambiguous and is being “misused and abused in this debate.”

“Add in terms like interconnection, Title II and paid prioritization,” she added, and “the American people are left with a muddled understanding on what to support.”

The only prize for the winner was the distinction of being first.

— John Eggerton