“This is really a celebration of our members,” exclaims Matt Polka, as he summarizes the 2018 American Cable Association’s Summit 25 in the above video. Brought together from the fallout of the 1992 Cable Act, the founding ACA members managed to unite an industry around the idea of telling their respective stories of serving communities overlooked by the larger providers.
Former Congressional representative Billy Tauzin and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt – who might be characterized as early ACA opponents with their respective efforts in passing and then implementing the 1992 Cable Act – were two of the speakers at the Summit 25 dinner.* Polka echoes Tauzin’s comments when he indicates that the legislative process was much less partisan 25 years ago and that there was more a focus on policy first before partisanship.
In his comments at the Summit, Tauzin suggested that, as a society, we need to look at issues as Americans first and that party politics should be secondary. Polka emphasizes that this dovetails with the goal of the American Cable Association in bridging the differences in politics.
Polka lauds Chairman Pai’s journeys to rural America to see the challenges of building communications networks in difficult-to-reach places. He points out that the Small Business Administration Administrator, Linda McMahon, has undertaken similar travels to the heartland having visited 40 of the 68 district offices, thus far.
Polka indicates these visits are an indication of an effort in Washington to identify and solve issues by understanding root causes. And just like the oak tree that was the symbol for Summit 25, visits to ACA members, with their strong community roots, provide a solid sounding board to understand the challenges of rural America and beyond.
* For background and legal perspective on the 1992 Cable Act, read this article written in 1993 by Nick Allard of the the Brooklyn Law School.
ACA Summit coverage brought to you by the ACA and ViodiTV.