With the holiday season now upon us, B&C approached some top trade association chiefs in the communications space to ask them what they are thankful for in their areas of industry oversight. The answers ranged from retrans to network neutrality, from more spectrum to less government, from prosaic pitches for their respective positions to a poetic call for a brighter future.
GORDON SMITH, NAB PRESIDENT, FORMER OREGON SENATOR
As a television viewer who enjoys the great lineup of football games that air around Thanksgiving, I’m particularly thankful that 99 percent of all retransmission consent deals are successfully negotiated without any disruption in service. And as an American, I’m proud and thankful that we enjoy a free and local broadcasting system that by far uses spectrum more efficiently than any of our pay communications competitors.
STEVE LARGENT, PRESIDENT, CTIA: THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, CTIA and the wireless industry are thankful for many reasons, including: the bipartisan support from the FCC, Congress, the Administration and NTIA to find additional spectrum so our members can continue to meet mobile consumers’ insatiable demand for innovative products and services; the significant number of members of Congress and policy-makers who recognize that net neutrality rules are not necessary; and the clarification by Congress that employer- provided wireless devices won’t be treated as taxable fringe benefits. Finally, we’re thankful to be a part of such an exciting, innovative and important part of the American economy.
MATTHEW M. POLKA, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CABLE ASSOCIATION
I’m thankful for the honor to represent our members, who are the absolute salt of the earth. There are no better companies who serve their customers and communities more effectively and positively. The best part of my job is to help tell our members’ unique stories and to win support for them from their congressmen, senators and the FCC, because they deserve every bit that they so painstakingly earn in the difficult environment of Washington. Independent cable has done the work Washington asked them to do providing broadband to smaller markets and rural areas, yet more serious issues remain. But as the fights go on, ACA will be there to ensure their important voices are heard. And I will be very thankful to be by their side.
GARY SHAPIRO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CONSUMER ELECTRONICS ASSOCIATION
I am most thankful to be an American citizen. In these difficult times, we must remind ourselves that being an American is both a gift and an obligation. The gift is our heritage from our forefathers of democracy. America is an exceptional nation that is a mosaic of the best in the world. The obligation is to future generations to improve their lot—the way our parents’ generation improved ours. Our unique focus on and benefit from doing things better distinguishes us from other countries. Simply put, innovation provides the salvation for a bright economic future. A creative, connected America will have a strong economy and create a better world. I am thankful to represent 2,000 of the nation’s most innovative companies, and I am committed to ensuring their right to innovate and propel our nation and our economy forward.
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