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NCTA chief speaks on proposed ITV regs

Tue, 05/08/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

"There are those, for commercial reasons of their own, who want the government to regulate interactive television before it's ever launched, and it's a bit disconcerting that they have gotten as far as an FCC Notice of Inquiry," NCTA President and CEO Robert Sachs told engineers at the Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando.

Sachs was speaking on January's FCC inquiry, and an issue he says NCTA is focusing on in its public policy efforts, and one he equated with "finding a dead shark in your swimming pool. No immediate danger. But it would foolish not to ask two questions - how did it get there (and) what are the chances of seeing another one, alive?" While NCTA doesn't quibble with fact-finding, he said, "We consider regulation of yet-to-be-developed services to be counter productive to their very development."

Of well-heeled regulation proponents, such as Disney and Viacom, Sachs asked, "Do they think cable operators are going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in interactive TV if there are pre-existing limits on how ITV services are permitted to develop?"

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