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NCTA Board Members Lobby for Cable

Washington -- National Cable & Telecommunications Association board members wrapped up a scheduled meeting early Thursday and headed out to lobby at the Federal Communications Commission, Capitol Hill and the White House, stating cable’s case at a time when FCC chairman Kevin Martin wants to clamp new regulations on the industry.

NCTA CEO Kyle McSlarrow said the CEOs on NCTA’s board are the most effective advocates to counter the FCC’s string of rulings and policy initiatives that cable perceives negatively. Martin’s apparent decision to declare that cable is in 70% of cable-ready homes being the latest such decision, and potentially most significant, he said.

Among the board members that fanned out from NCTA headquarters on Massachusetts Avenue in a half-dozen black cars, headed to about 15 different meetings, were operator chiefs Brian Roberts of Comcast, Glenn Britt of Time Warner Cable, Tom Rutledge of Cablevision Systems and Michael Willner of Insight.

Programmers that took part include A&E Networks’ Abbe Raven, Fox Cable Networks’ Tony Vinciquerra and Decker Anstrom, the former NCTA chief who’s president of Landmark Communications.

Brian Dietz, VP of communications at the NCTA, said they’d be emphasizing McSlarrow’s points expressed in a letter to the FCC Tuesday that cited “a recurring, disturbing pattern of attempts to set policies that harm consumers.”

Among other things, the board members from operator and programmer companies are “showing a unified front that this is the highest priority for NCTA and, from a policy standpoint, for the industry right now.”