USTA Ads Aim to Slay Cable Giants


The trade association for local phone companies is launching a new
advertising campaign that slams the lightly regulated cable industry for
establishing a broadband beachhead against heavily regulated competitors.

The United States Telecom Association is planning for the ad campaign to run
over the next few weeks in Washington, D.C., publications read by policymakers,
such as Roll Call and The Hill.

Radio and television ads are to follow, USTA spokeswoman Allison Remsen

The ads are also designed to drum up support for legislation (H.R. 1542)
sponsored by Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.), which would
broadly deregulate the high-speed Internet services of the four Baby Bells and
other local phone carriers. A House vote has been promised in March.

'We want to win in vigorous, head-to-head competition. The cable giants
simply want the government to hand them the best properties. One approach is in
the public interest, the other is not,' USTA president Walter McCormick said in
a prepared statement Tuesday.

National Cable & Telecommunications Association spokesman Marc Osgoode
Smith responded by reminding the USTA that the NCTA is not opposing the
Tauzin-Dingell bill.

'USTA's new leadership is apparently unaware that the cable industry is not
opposed to the Tauzin-Dingell bill. As stated in NCTA's April 25, 2001, letter
to chairman Tauzin and Congressman Dingell, `NCTA strongly believes that
market-based competition is the best way to foster the availability of broadband
services to all Americans.'' Smith said.