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NATOA meeting tackles cable industry advertising.

False and misleading advertising in a campaign waged by the cable television industry against cable legislation under consideration by Congress was challenged by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) during their twelfth annual conference in Irving, Texas last week.

The FTC responded favorably to a letter to the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) from NATOA asking the commission investigate the false and misleading advertising appearing in print and on television. Among other things, the legislation would promote competition and provide consumer protection.

Although the cable bill is one of the most important issues facing local governments in terms of dealing with their cable franchises, this was not the only issue that occupied the attention of over 400 conference attendees. Innovations in technology, changes in regulatory framework and the cable franchise renewal process were also discussed.

Over 20 sessions were conducted and vital information that today's local government officials neet to operate their telecommunications systems and cable franchises was disseminated. Larry Irving, Staff Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Telecommunications Committee, made a special appearance to share with attendees an up-to-the-minute report on the status of the cable bill.

A lively discussion of video dialton, a medium viewed as competition for the cable industry and an opportunity for cable to enter telephony, was presided over by Washington attorney Nicholas Miller of Miller & Holbrooke. Presenters included Dr. Robert Pepper, Chief of the Federal Communications Commission Office of Plans & Policy; Gene Kimmelman, Legislative Director for the Consumer Federation of America; Andrew Balu, Chairman of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers; and, Duane Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Regulatory Policy with GTE Telephone Operations.

In addition to many informative sessions and opportunities to share experiences, NATOA members participated in their annual membership meeting. Following the election of the Board of Directors and Officers, the 1992-93 Board was announced. Members included: President David Olson of the City of Portland, Oregon; Vice President William Squadron of the City of New York; Secretary/Treasurer Susan Littlefield of the City of St. Louis; Past President Susan Herman of the City of Los Angeles; Michael Hunt, President of Municon in Sarasota, Florida; Jonathan Kramer, an independent technology advisor in Encino, California; Cheryl Pasalic of the Village of Mount Prospect, Illinois; Mike Reardon of the Burnsville/Eagan Cable Commission in Eagan, Minnesota; John Risk, President of Communications Support Group in Santa Ana, California; and, Tom Robinson of Fairfax County, Virgninia.

The conference concluded with the seventh annual Gaovernment Programming Awards ceremony. A total of 391 entries representing the best-of-the-best in local government programming were judged in 27 categories at judging sites sponsored by more than 20 NATOA members from across the country. A total of 94 finalists and 13 honorable mentions received recognition. First place winners included: Mentor and Miami Valley, Ohio; Yakima and Clark County/Vancouver, Washington; Irving, Plano and Richardson, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Southfield, Michigan; Bloomington, Minnesota; Columbia and Florrisant, Missouri; Aurora and Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Roseville and Santa Monica, California; the District of Columbia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and, Metro-Dade County, Florida.

For more information on NATOA, call Renee Winsky in the Center for Member Programs at 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 21, 1992
Words:530
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