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Fast-paced cable changes draw big crowd to NATOA meeting.

Cable rate regulation, customer service standards, telephone companies entering the multi-channel video programming service market, the electronic superhighway, the Americans with Disabilities Act and its impact on government access, and the future of the nation's evolving telecommunications infrastructure were the hot topics in Orlando last week.

The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), an affiliate of NLC, held its 1993 Annual Conference with 500 registrants--a record for NATOA.

To Certify Or Not To?

The question of the week seemed to be: "should cities certify or not?" After listening to the comments of FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and FCC staff members Sandy Wilson, Alan Aronowitz and Byron Marchant, it was clear to most everyone in attendance that certifying to regulate basic service tier rates is definitely the route to take to ensure reasonable cable rates for consumers.

Larry Irving, assistant secretary of commerce and director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), addressed the implementation of the 1992 Cable Act, as well as the Clinton administrations stance on telecommunications issues.

Rate Regulation Kit

NATOA's Rate Regulation Kit, which was first introduced and sold during the conference, was very popular--more than 100 copies were sold in two days. For those who were unable to purchase the Kit last week, you may order copies through NATOA. The price is $15 for NATOA members and $40 for non-members, plus shipping and handling. Order the Kit by calling NATOA at 202/626-3160.


At NATOA's annual business meeting, the 1993/94 NATOA Board of Directors was elected. The Board includes President Bill Squadron of the City of New York; Vice President Susan Littlefield of the City of St. Louis; Secretary/Treasurer Mike Reardon of the Cities of Burnsville/Eagan (Minnesota) Cable Commission; Past President David Olson of the City of Portland, Ore.; John Askew of Prince George's County, Md.; Jonathan Kramer, an independent technology advisor in Encino, Calif.; Donna Mason of the city of Vancouver and Clark County, Wash.; Cheryl Pasalic of the Village of Mount Prospect, Ill.; Tom Robinson of Fairfax County, Va.; and, Byron West of the City and County of Denver.

Awards Ceremony

The conference concluded with the eighth annual Government Programming Awards ceremony. A total of 503 entries representing the best-of-the-best in local government programming were judged in 36 categories at judging sites sponsored by more than 25 NATOA members from across the country. A total of 104 finalists and seven honorable mentions received recognition.

Jurisdiction with the most winning entries were: Phoenix, Arizona (four winners), City and County of Denver (four), Metro-Dade County, Fla. (four), Miami Valley Cable Council in Centerville, Ohio (three), Plano, Tex. (two), Santa Monica, Calif. (two), and Southfield, Mich. two).

For more information about NATOA, including how to join and be involved, call 202/626-3160.
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Title Annotation:National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
Author:Winsky, Renee M.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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