Sachs: Cable Offers Crisis Insurance

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During the September terrorist attacks, cable companies provided a critical
alternative communications outlet and bolstered national security in a time of
crisis, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert
Sachs said Wednesday.

Sachs, addressing the Western Show in Anaheim, Calif., said cable facilities
continued to function even though TV towers atop the World Trade Center were
knocked out and phone networks were destroyed in collapsed buildings or
overloaded due to excessive volume.

'One of the lessons of Sept. 11 is the importance of having competitive
telecommunications networks,' he added.

He said TV stations in New York that lost transmitters continued to reach
cable customers because their studios were linked by fiber to cable
headends.

Sachs also noted that when dial-up Internet lines were too congested, cable's
high-speed networks kept working.

'When telephone circuits were overloaded due to the tremendous volume of
calls, broadband networks performed well, enabling millions of Americans to
communicate with their families, friends and co-workers,' he said.

Sachs' remarks seemed geared toward recent policy pronouncements made by
Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell and commissioner Kevin
Martin that called for a new emphasis on facilities-based competition over
resellers and the leasing of network elements.

'With the growing recognition that multiple communications paths provide an
extra and necessary measure of national security, we are likely to see
facilities-based competition take on increased importance in Washington,' Sachs
said.

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