Sachs Focuses on Broadband at CTPAA

3/12/2002 8:15 AM Eastern

In what appeared to be a preview of the National Show, National Cable &
Telecommunications Association president and CEO Robert Sachs made the
industry's case for broadband leadership Tuesday, but with important

Making the keynote speech at the Cable Television Public Affairs
Association's annual conference in Washington, D.C., Sachs praised cable's role
in broadband deployment of high-speed Internet services, citing the industry's
investment in infrastructure, the 10 percent penetration rate of cable modems
and its current lead over digital-subscriber-line technology.

But, Sachs cautioned, cable shouldn't be pushed to go beyond its current
'steady, deliberate and focused approach,' and he criticized TechNet, a
high-tech consortium that advocates widespread deployment of a
100-megabit-per-second broadband connection by the end of the decade.

'They offer a field of dreams,' he said, 'but overlook that others would bear
the cost of building it.'

Sachs also urged the government to maintain its 'hands-off,' deregulatory
approach to broadband growth. Any change in policy, he warned, 'could hamper the
abilities of companies to respond to market dynamics and to deter investment and

He did, however, want the government to be more decisive about digital-rights
management so copyright holders could know what content could be legally copied.
He also urged that individuals' privacy rights on the Internet be balanced
against 'the legitimate business needs' of Internet-service and content

The theme of the National Show, which begins May 6 in New Orleans, will be
'Connecting America,' he added, referring specifically to broadband

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