Leddy Seeks Stability from Congress

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Time Warner Cable senior vice president of strategy development Kevin Leddy urged Congress Wednesday to maintain a stable regulatory environment in order to allow cable companies to invest the billions of dollars needed to offer consumers an array of digital services.

“We need to borrow a lot of money to keep the cable industry moving, and lenders like a stable regulatory environment,” Leddy said in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, which is considering overhauling the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

“I think the spirit of the ’96 act was a very good spirit,” Leddy added. “It essentially had a deregulatory flavor to it, deregulating the entire environment and promoting facilities-based competition.”

Leddy was one of six witnesses present to demonstrate to lawmakers some of the newest digital services being offered to consumers over both wireline and wireless networks.

Led by Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts, the cable industry is opposed to major changes in the law, saying they would be disruptive to cable companies and to Wall Street investors.

In his testimony, Leddy indicated that if Congress is destined to change the law, it should stress parity among industries by minimizing regulation of all companies.

“We ought to see that achieved by deregulating industries down to parity, rather than regulating industries up to maybe levels of parity where old regulations exist,” he added.

Time Warner Cable is an industry leader in the rollout of voice-over-Internet-protocol telephony, a cost-efficient means of attacking the Baby Bells. By the end of the year, the MSO intends to make VoIP available in all of its markets, Leddy said.

Leddy promised the panel that Time Warner would insure that customers have access to emergency services and that law enforcement can tap the network to track criminal activity.