The NCTA's Cable Show was a big success by almost all accounts. More than 12,000 people attended the confab in Washington, DC, 2,000 more than expected and slightly in excess of last year's tally. Well over 100 members of Congress and 300 regulators, administrators and staffers visited the show, particularly Broadband Nation, the impressive display of futuristic broadband services.
A few highlights...
- Who said a roomful of techies can't be nimble? Some of the industry's best known technical strategists proved their impressive ability to dodge a tough question. Jim Chiddix, Time Warner's former tech guru moderated a panel and asked the current crop of chief geeks about whether they would cancel their pending deliveries of set-top DVR's if Cablevision wins its appeal to allow them to deploy network DVR's. Since other operators have been waiting on the sidelines before declaring whether they support the technology until the Supreme Court rules, here's how they responded..."Mike?" Chiddix asked, looking at Mike LaJoie, his successor at Time Warner. "You must mean Mike Lee," LaJoie answered, throwing the hot potato to the Rogers top strategist. I agree with Mike," answered Lee. And in an apparent desire to have total clarity, Tony Warner, Comcast's CTO weighed in too. "Ditto."
- Rupert Murdoch believes the recession will last until the end of next year. He also announced he will sell his Long Island house because the local taxes are going from $3,000 to $7,000 per year.
- On what it's like to compete against Verizon, Cablevision's Tom Rutledge said that, because Cablevision continues to grow their customers despite the competition, "it annoys them (Verizon). They're a bit like a Sumo wrestler. They like to throw their belly out."
- Even the current FCC Commissioners are celebrating the change of regime in the Chairman's office. Jonathan Adelstein, who soon will leave the agency to take the reigns at Rural Utilities Service, expressed relief that staffers were now allowed to answer questions posed to them by the commissioners. Fellow commish, Robert McDowell said it was nice to see people in the elevators no longer, "looking at their shoes." He added that one of the first things Chairman Copps did was to remove the sign that said, "The beatings shall continue until morale improves." He added, "morale improved."