NCTA's Powell calls on industry to invest in the network, not become complacent

LOS ANGELES--Calling the path to a better society dependent on better communications, NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell launched The Cable Show 2014 conference here.  However, he cautioned that the cable industry should not be regulated like utilities.

Michael Powell, NCTA

Powell delivers The Cable Show's opening keynote. (Photo by Sue Marek)

"We rely on our man-made networks and airwaves that our companies provide and they spark the cylinders of innovation, which has seen broadband grow faster than any other deployed technology in history, increasing by 1,500 percent in the past decade, with one trillion dollars in investment," Powell said.

Yet with that spectacular growth, he cautioned against complacency. "We must not be complacent and must build a faster, open Internet, while keeping prices reasonable and service high. We must also be good corporate citizens," he added.

He also called on the cable industry to continue making the world a better place and understand its responsibility as a steward of a better future.

"Cable can and does make the world a better place, and offers an opportunity for a better future. We are stewards of that future. Let's talk to each other and challenge each other because we are a solution."

Part of the solution to today's "ailing world" of crumbling bridges, poverty, lack of education and a host of other issues, Powell noted, is cable's ability to impart knowledge. "Today human knowledge doubles every two years. By 2020, it will double every 72 hours. The content carried by cable's pipes is crucial to raising consciousness."

A brief blackout helped raise the consciousness of the opening session attendees, and proved one of Powell's points. "What if the Internet was blacked out several times a year?"

Continuing the investment in broadband infrastructure and building a community of shared values should be one of cable's mission statements, Powell said.

"To connect and act is what ties together communities and countries. We have an opportunity to give America and the world a better future."

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