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June 10, 2013

INTX: The Internet & Television Expo

Michael Powell Opens The Cable Show 2013 [VIDEO]

June 10, 2013

“Storytelling,” Powell started off, “is the most ancient of human endeavors.  It lets us learn our history, share a laugh, feel a thrill, celebrate, and mourn together.” From that foundation, and in front of a crowd of thousands both here in Washington, D.C. and around the world via online stream, Michael K. Powell, NCTA President and CEO, delivered the first keynote address to open The Cable Show 2013.

Standing solo in front of a staggering 72-foot uninterrupted projection screen, Powell took stock of everything the cable industry has delivered over the last sixty years. From amazing television to some of the fastest broadband Internet on earth, the past, present, and future of cable was laid out in a fashion befitting an industry dedicated to technology and storytelling.

Impressive multimedia video, sounds and imagery complemented Powell’s presentation. We saw everything from the original sounds of a dial-up modem to the latest numbers in rural broadband investments and penetration. 93% of America can connect to cable Internet and 85% have access to speeds over 100 Mbps. This platform of possibilities comes from over $200 billion in infrastructure investments since 1996, not to mention serious risk and hard work.

During his address, Powell noted the challenges of delivering super-fast Internet to a country as large and as spread out as the United States. When paralleling broadband speeds between one nation and another, he said, “it is foolish to compare countries like Latvia and France to the United States of America. The landmass of the U.S. is 3.8 million square miles, much of it rural.  And we are home to 316 million people. Our challenges are different, but our results are nonetheless impressive.”

The U.S. has gone from 22nd in worldwide broadband speeds to 8th since 2009. If U.S. states are compared to countries like France and Latvia, Powell said “U.S. states [would represent] ten of the top fifteen fastest regions in the world.”

As the narrative of cable unfolds over the next three days, there couldn’t have been a better way to set the tone than Powell’s address. It was filled with the possibilities of television, technology, and the role cable has played in shaping our nationwide communications network. The Cable Show is sure to be a spectacle of tech and TV unlike any other.

If you’re here, enjoy! Be sure to share your experience on Twitter and Instagram using #Cable13. And if you’re not, don’t forget to take advantage of the live stream at