Even from its beginning, cable’s focus always has been on building and nourishing a one-to-one relationship with consumers and their communities. Whether it’s through the local broadband and television services we provide or through enjoyment of cable’s programming, cable is integral to the fabric of America. And today, cable is one of the rare enterprises that employ people in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories.
The social compact implicit in these relationships requires cable industry companies not only to meet their commitments to customers, but it also obliges our industry to make a good-faith effort to aid communities with projects and programs that serve the common good – the principle widely known as corporate social responsibility.
That’s why we at NCTA recently formed a new foundation, Cable Impacts. Our mission: to advance cable’s commitment to social responsibility through activities that leverage cable’s strength’s – our platform, technology and content – to empower consumers and enhance our communities.
Cable Impacts’ work aims at three key areas:
First, it supports cable’s commitment to education – through research, partnerships, events, and a digital presence – Cable Impacts will highlight the positive use of broadband in education, and a commitment to the teaching of 21st century digital skills and citizenship. With that commitment to education as one of our main planks, Cable Impacts serves as a fitting successor to Cable in the Classroom, the industry-wide program that spanned a generation and fulfilled a promise to wire the nation’s schools for TV and broadband, and offer to teachers, parents and students free use of the best in cable’s educational content, both on TV and online.
Second, by mirroring the cable industry’s efforts in broadband adoption, Cable Impacts – through partnerships with third parties, public service initiatives, and the resources of NCTA member companies – will support programs that drive broadband adoption and digital literacy among underserved and un-served communities.
And third, underscoring a historic commitment of nearly 20 years in providing families with parental controls and help in managing media coming into their homes, Cable Impacts will continue to raise awareness and improve education about the available and easily accessible resources to help parents and caregivers manage the TV and Internet media in which their kids are immersed every day.
We also realize that the passion for corporate social responsibility among cable industry companies transcends these three areas of focus. So the Cable Impacts team at NCTA will work hard to identify and amplify all the work under way nationwide. We will also play a role in identifying, nurturing and sharing best practices throughout the industry. And Cable Impacts will be open to other areas of focus within its mission and will work closely with NCTA member companies to help determine compelling projects for the future.
It is a privilege to be able to serve American consumers and communities, and cable’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is resolute and continues to grow. Cable Impacts will add a new dimension to its advancement.
David Pierce is the VP of Public Affairs, National Cable & Telecommunications Association & Executive Director, Cable Impacts Foundation