Texas Show's 2005 Home Will Shift to Austin

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Next year, the CableConnects show will bolt from its traditional home of San Antonio in favor of a meeting in Texas' capital city, Austin.

Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association president and COO Amanda Batson said members are interested in combining the trade group's annual lobbying day with the convention. The TCTA will announce details, such as the meeting site, in April.

The association is expanding its emphasis on advocacy and public policy, she said, so Austin was a natural choice.

Meanwhile, there remains strong interest in the regional meeting, scheduled this year for Feb. 25 to 27 at its 40-year home in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio.

Batson expects to attract more than 1,000 attendees, comparable with past years. The 200 booth spaces are nearly filled, with 184 rented as of last week. That is ahead of last year, when 170 booths had been rented by that date.

The meeting will be keynoted by Glenn Britt, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, who will speak on the convention theme of the "power of the platform," especially as it relates to deployment by his own company.

Each of cable's new products will be a show topic, especially HDTV. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is partnering to host a HDTV showcase on the CableConnects floor. The exhibit will provide convention-goers with information to ease consumers' transition into the HD world. A related panel, hosted by the NCTA's Rob Stoddard, will discuss plug-and-play technologies.

Besides the keynote address, Batson anticipated there would be great interest in a Feb. 26 Washington update panel. Topics will include digital must-carry and regulation of voice-over-Internet protocol telephony.

Batson said Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been invited to the meeting, but the TCTA will not know until closer to the show whether his schedule will permit him to attend.

"San Antonio is a fabulous destination," she said, but she did not rule out future meetings in other state locales such as Dallas or Houston. The members will determine best location for future meetings, she said.

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