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News Release
March 19, 2002
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Industry Competitors Agree on 'Convergence' 
Cable, Satellite, Phone & Internet Execs' Comments in New PFF Paper

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Digital ‘Convergence’ is arriving. But do we have the public policy necessary to make the most of it? That was the topic for discussion at a recent Progress & Freedom Foundation seminar on Capitol Hill, “Changing the Multi-Channel Video Marketplace.” The remarks of the panelists, and those of Randolph J. May and Jeffrey A. Eisenach of the Foundation, are found in a paper released today.

“What is striking is the extent to which the panelists, from their various industry perspectives, seemed to agree the long-awaited ‘convergence’ is becoming a reality, and that competition in the multi-channel marketplace across platforms will require new, more market-oriented public policies,” said May, a PFF senior fellow and director of communications policy studies. The following are excerpts from the March1 event:

Christopher A. McLean of National Strategies, Inc: “Just as cable brought new competition and new choices to viewers of broadcast television, satellite has done the same for cable. This vigorous intermodal competition has produced better programming, more channels, and new investment. Competition from satellite has helped push cable to improve its service and to expand into the new digital age.”

Steven F. Vest of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association: “Most consumers have several choices in terms of selecting multi-channel video programming, a cable operator in most cases, DBS in virtually all cases, and phone companies in some cases. Utilities are starting to get into the video business, and a growing number of wireline over-builders.”

C. Lincoln Hoewing of Verizon: “Although multi-media is clearly an important part of driving demand for and use of broadband, I think communications is content. It’s just not the type of content we tend to focus on, but it is an important part of how broadband demand gets moved forward.”

David Gardy of, Inc.: “We think the Internet will do by micro-niching what cable did to broadcast by niching, in that it’s interactive and it’s archivable. All of these facets are streaming video processes that we’re developing, initially, to attract the customer, but then finally to create these online communities.”

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation