(London, 5 March 2013) Cable Congress 2013 kicked off this morning with a keynote speech from Ed Vaizey, UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. Speaking at today’s event, Mr. Vaizey hailed the UK digital economy and added his support, pending regulatory approval, to the recently announced merger of Virgin Media and Liberty Global.
“The UK is already a world leader in the online economy, with the internet contributing more than eight per cent of GDP. Our flagship businesses are tapping into global markets, and our consumers enjoy excellent choice and services when choosing their broadband and phones.
“Through this investment, and working in partnership with industry, we will see much faster speeds, millions more homes and businesses able to enjoy these speeds, and a market which boasts high competition and low prices.”
The morning’s discussions continued on this theme. Following on from Mr. Vaizey was a panel discussion entitled ‘View from the Top’ featuring a lineup of the leading women in cable. Moderator Nina Dos Santos, a presenter on CNN, was joined on stage by Rosalia Portela, CEO ONO; Dana Strong, CEO UPC Ireland; Annet Aris, Board Member Kabel Deutschland; Berit Svendsen, CEO Telenor Norway; and Miranda Curtis, Board Member, Liberty Global.
The panel discussed the future of the cable industry and the importance of sustained investment in order to remain competitive as well as trends and service developments that they are seeing within the sector.
Telenor Norway CEO Berit Svendsen stated that “Cable TV is what we’re dreaming about, cable is the future!”
Discussing the priorities for ONO, Rosalia Portela, CEO, noted: “Technology and people are key, especially in difficult times. ONO’s continued investment is a priority.”
Citing recent UPC Ireland research, CEO Dana Strong reported: “Broadband is rated as being more important than water and electricity for households in Ireland.”
Board Member at Liberty Global, Miranda Curtis said: “Cable’s main competitive advantage is the ability to invest in the best networks, the best technology, the best user interfaces and also the best services for customers.”
Board Member of Kabel Deutschland, Annet Aris said: “Rather than micro-regulation, regulators need to look at the big picture.” She also placed importance on making customer conscious of costs for internet use.