Cable lobby tries to make you forget that it represents cable companies

Jon Brodkin
The US cable industry's biggest lobby group has dropped the word "cable" from its name in a rebrand focusing on its members' role as providers of both Internet and TV services.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) will henceforth be called NCTA-The Internet & Television Association. NCTA will be maintained in the name as a nod to the group's past, even though the initials no longer stand for any particular words.
“Just as our industry is witnessing an exciting transformation driven by technology and connectivity, NCTA’s brand must reflect the vibrancy and diversity of our members,” NCTA CEO Michael Powell (a former Federal Communications Commission chairman) said in today's announcement. The group's "mission to drive the industry forward remains the same," he said.
This isn't the NCTA's first name change. The group began as the National Community Television Council in 1951 and then became the National Community Television Association in 1952, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. The NCTA was known as the National Cable Television Association for a few decades beginning in 1968, including when current FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was its CEO from 1979 to 1984. In 2001, Cable Television was dropped from the name and replaced with Cable & Telecommunications. The 2001 name change was meant to reflect "the industry's changing landscape" because cable was "no longer simply a provider of one-way video programming."
Last year, the NCTA also changed the name of its annual conference from "The Cable Show" to "INTX: The Internet & Television Expo."
Today, the NCTA is one of the most influential lobby groups in telecommunications, weighing in on many FCC proceedings. The NCTA is currently trying to overturn the FCC's net neutrality rules and the related classification of broadband providers as common carriers, which so far have survived the industry's court challenges. The NCTA is also fighting an FCC plan to boost competition in the cable TV set-top box market.
The NCTA's list of more than 150 members includes the big cable operators like Comcast, Charter, and Cox, along with a number of smaller cable companies. Members also include equipment manufacturers and owners of TV channels. The NCTA does not represent the major Internet providers that don't use coaxial cable technology, such as AT&T and Verizon, which belong to other lobby groups.
Despite dropping the word "cable," the NCTA's name change announcement makes reference to how cable companies are dominating the broadband market. Powell noted that the NCTA "represent[s] an industry that is America’s largest and fastest home Internet provider."
As it goes forward, the NCTA won't be the only telecom lobby group initialism that no longer stands for anything. The CTIA—previously known as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and then the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association—is now just "CTIA-The Wireless Association." There's also NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, which was founded in 1954 to represent telephone cooperatives and was later known as the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association before adopting its current name in 2013.
Cable lobby tries to make you forget that it represents cable companies Reviewed by Bizpodia on 19:13 Rating: 5

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