ACA's 2012 Summit Returns To D.C. In March

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The American Cable Association announced that next year's ACA Summit for independent cable operators will take place March 13-15 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C.

The event -- the group's 19th annual conference -- will serve as a venue for smaller and midsize operators to share their public policy concerns with officials in the Obama Administration, on Capitol Hill and inside the Federal Communications Commission, according to the ACA. The trade group's 2010 conference in April was also held in Washington.

"With so much at stake for our industry in Washington, D.C., I strongly believe that attending the ACA Summit is essential for independent cable operators that want to express their views to our country's most senior policymakers. I'm convinced that there is simply no substitute for demonstrating personal commitment to your business and your interest in good public policy outcomes," ACA chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah, who is chairwoman and CEO of WideOpenWest Internet, Cable and Phone, said in a statement.

The theme for this year's show is "Geared Up For Progress," and the conference will focus on issues including retransmission consent, broadband deployment and access to content on "fair and reasonable" terms, the ACA said. Sessions will cover regulatory and legislative issues, as well as a lobbying preparation session, networking events, and an expanded exhibit hall for programmers, technology vendors and service providers.

"ACA members will definitely be ‘geared up' and ready to explain how their companies built their leadership position as the broadband access provider of choice in hometown America," ACA president and CEO Matt Polka said. "Anything policymakers can do to help the independent cable community avoid costly and burdensome regulation, as well as anticompetitive conduct by those with market power, will advance the goal of universal broadband access at affordable rates."

Pittsburgh-based ACA represents more than 900 small and midsize cable companies, which collectively provide services for more than 7.6 million subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America.