NCTA — The Internet & Television Association
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Cable's Story

A Force for American Innovation

The cable industry has long been a force for American innovation. What began over a half century ago among a few visionary pioneers is now one of the most forward thinking industries in the country, serving nearly every corner of America. Cable providers are leaders in broadband connectivity, video entertainment, and so much more. With over 500 employees in 96% of congressional districts, the cable industry can be found in every community in America. Cable providers have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and programming over the years, keeping ahead of future demand and powering the country’s digital economy. 

Innovation Over the Years

  1. Cable is Born

    Cable delivers broadcast TV channels to Oregon, Arkansas and Pennsylvania.

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  2. Expansion

    Cable expands to 800 cable systems across the country.

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  3. Birth of TV Networks

    Debut of first national cable TV networks: HBO, C-SPAN, ESPN, Nickelodeon

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  4. More TV

    Number of cable TV networks increases from 28 in 1980 to 79 in 1989.

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  5. Home Internet Arrives

    Residential broadband launches with introduction of the cable modem.

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  6. Infrastructure Gets Boost

    Networks upgraded to hybrid-fiber coax to provide faster internet and more services all on one wire into the home.

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  7. More Services

    Introduction of VOD, HDTV, VOIP, DVRs in homes, with Wi-Fi to come soon after.

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  8. Full Wireless

    Cable begins offering mobile phone service.

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  9. Internet Gets Faster

    2Gbps speeds now available to cable homes.

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  10. Ultra-Fast Speeds

    10G introduced. Cable will deliver speeds of 10Gbps to homes soon.

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  11. Networks Thrive

    During COVID-19 pandemic, cable broadband networks saw unprecedented growth and performed well.

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Entertainment Pioneers

Award-winning Television

Over the past few decades, TV networks have made massive investments in programming to bring award-winning shows and entertainment to audiences across the world. Thanks to cable, America saw the expansion of news and sports networks and the explosion of theater-quality television channels like HBO. Over the years, a wide diversity of TV networks has elevated more voices and provided more viewing options available to audiences. 

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Committed to closing the digital divide

Cable broadband providers have connected over 14 million low-income individuals through broadband adoption programs and are committed to closing the digital divide. Cable providers offer a variety of digital literacy education options in addition to low-cost programs that help families overcome barriers they may face.

A Vast and Diverse Workforce

Cable’s workforce represents all demographic and educational backgrounds, spanning both rural and urban communities throughout America. They maintain the infrastructure that keeps the internet running and deliver the entertainment experiences that Americans enjoy.

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employees in 96% of congressional districts
Oxford Economics
jobs nationwide
Oxford Economics
15 States
Cable providers support more jobs than the workforces of 15 states
Oxford Economics