It's just after Thanksgiving, Disneyland is decorated for the holidays, and the cable industry is in town once again for the Western Show. Ah, tradition.
For cable telecommunications professionals around the world, the annual pilgrimage to Anaheim is part of the rhythm of our industry — and even more so to those of us who have worked with and on behalf of the California Cable & Telecommunications Association to produce this important showcase year after year.
The Western Show has been — and, for the next few days, will continue to be — a focal point for the demonstration of new technologies and the exchange of new ideas that will propel the cable telecommunications business in 2004 and beyond.
True, this week's events close out a rich, 36-year history of Western Show gatherings. If there's a lesson to be drawn as we close the curtain for the last time, it's a general one at best. Life tends to be in constant motion, conditions and circumstances change, and people and organizations respond.
What won't change, however, is the commitment and the work performed by the CCTA on behalf of its members.
For some, the CCTA has long been synonymous with the Western Show, and it's true that the show has been instrumental in supporting the association's mission of achieving excellence as the advocacy arm for cable television operators in California.
But the reach of the CCTA has always extended far beyond the boundaries of a convention center. Representing cable operators serving more than 7 million customers, the CCTA has established a significant leadership role in the development of cable-television policy in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C. In addition to legislative representation, CCTA maintains an active voice in state and federal courts as well as before the California Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and cities and counties throughout California.
Invigorated by the growth of our industry's customers, programming networks and extensive technology investments, the CCTA has led the cause to ensure that cable television remains a competitive and vital contributor to California's economy, and to the enrichment of millions of customers every day.
Over the years, CCTA has helped to create legislation and regulation that made it possible for cable operators to grow and expand cable in California, first with analog cable systems and later with broadband networks.
In California's Legislature, CCTA advocated for cable rate deregulation and pole rate regulation policies that became models for later federal legislation. Similarly, CCTA helped open California's telephone market to competition in advance of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
Cable's investment and growth in California have been positive forces for the development of industries that have contributed mightily to the state and beyond. Cable's broadband conduits and entrepreneurial spirit have spawned entire new markets for content providers in Hollywood and equipment and high tech suppliers in the Silicon Valley. Through it all, CCTA was and will continue to be at the forefront of the intersection between government and the New Economy. As we enjoy the collegial gathering of this final Western Show, we do so knowing the board of directors and staff of the CCTA intend to continue the association's 45-year history of service to the cable industry without interruption.
Importantly, the CCTA's legislative and regulatory programs will not miss a beat as the Western Show comes to an end. Prudent financial management and smart business decisions from the CCTA's board have placed our association in a strong position to ensure continued excellent representation on behalf of cable companies in California.
The CCTA will continue to work hard to ensure that operators benefit from a legislative and regulatory climate in California that recognizes and embraces the significant investment cable operators have made in infrastructure and services. We will continue to work hard to ensure that our members have an unparalleled opportunity to compete in the video, data and voice markets, to the benefit of millions of customers in California.
This week in Anaheim, we'll be engaged once again by provocative panel sessions and we'll be dazzled once again by the stunning pace of content and technological advancement our industry continues to produce. When it's over, we'll say our farewells, pack things up and, at CCTA, roll up our sleeves. We've got work to do.