Dingell Chats at Cable Confab

The chairman of the House Commerce Committee told cable executives Wednesday he intends to create a national broadband strategy.
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The chairman of the House Commerce Committee told cable executives Wednesday he intends to create a national broadband strategy.

"Whether services are offered by a cable company or a telephone provider, they should be offered according to a consistent set of rules," said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) "And those rules must protect consumers."

Dingell made his remarks at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Key Contacts Conference held in Washington. He lauded the industry for "coming a long way in a very short period of time," but he said the United States continued to lag behind other industrialized nations in terms of broadband penetration.

"That's why the Committee on Energy and Commerce is pursuing legislative measures aimed at establishing a comprehensive national broadband strategy. Historically, our committee has supported policies that spur competition, investment, and innovation. And I intend to make sure we continue to move in this direction."

Dingell also said the committee would continue to monitor cable's role in the DTV transition.

"The federal government does not often mandate a technological change of this magnitude. The American people can be a fickle bunch when it comes to their television sets. If the transition is not led correctly, with sound policies focused on consumer needs, I predict we could see a fine mess."