About Us: The Cable Industry
Comprised of a wide variety of cable companies, cable programming networks and other service providers, today’s cable industry offers an extensive array of television and telecommunications services to consumers across the United States. Indeed, cable companies are pleased to provide nearly 62 million customers with cable service and to be a vital part of their households and communities.
At the core of the cable industry are cable programming networks offering high-quality programming that educates, informs and entertains viewers. Cable offers something for everyone, with networks dedicated to news, public affairs, children, health, science, arts, history, sports, original movies and entertainment programs, and more. This breadth has resulted in an explosion in programming diversity, often targeting unserved or underserved segments of the population. And, cable companies are also increasingly investing in the creation of new regional and local programming, filling a vital programming need.
Cable’s dedication to diverse programming means that viewers are increasingly turning to cable and cable network viewership continues to increase at a rapid pace. In addition, thanks to the deployment of services like Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), viewers can watch their favorite programming at their convenience. Cable program networks have also been at the forefront of providing HD programming so that consumers can have the best possible viewing experience.
The cable industry is the nation’s largest broadband provider of high-speed Internet access after investing more than $130 billion over ten years to build a two-way interactive network with fiber optic technology. In the mid 1990’s, cable was the first industry to offer an affordable, residential high-speed Internet service that spurred the growth of the Internet, stimulated the development of a highly competitive broadband marketplace, and provided a stable and growing platform for Internet entrepreneurs. In a little over a decade, broadband speeds have greatly increased, providing for new Internet applications, nearly ubiquitous deployment, and exponential growth in broadband adoption rates. Cable broadband service is now available to 122 million homes, or 92 percent of all American households.
Cable companies are also pleased to be able to provide state-of-the-art digital telephone service to 22 million American consumers.
As the leading provider of television and broadband services, the cable industry understands its responsibility toward its customers and their communities. That’s why in 1989 it established Cable in the Classroom as the industry’s education foundation in order to expand and enhance learning in and out of the classroom through cable content and technology, and to serve as a leading national advocate for digital citizenship education as well as media literacy education.
The cable industry also has a longstanding commitment to addressing parents and educators' concerns about what children see on television. The cable industry provides customers with a wide choice of programming that serves diverse audiences, including several channels just for children and families. Combined with this choice, cable provides tools to help families control the programming that comes into their homes. Cable set-top boxes feature parental blocking mechanisms that enable parents to manage effectively how television is viewed in their home.
Similarly, the cable industry shares the concerns of parents and educators about keeping children safe when they are online. In June 2007, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) – whose members collectively serve more than 90 percent of the nation’s cable television households – and Cable in the Classroom launched Cable Puts You in Control: PointSmart.ClickSafe., a comprehensive initiative to educate consumers and parents about online safety and the appropriate use of the Internet by children. A key component of the initiative is the NCTA members’ pledge to:
- Offer parental controls or filters free of charge to help families manage online content;
- Offer various educational resources for parents, children, and others about online parental controls and Internet-related media literacy;
- Participate through Cable in the Classroom in partnerships with school-based and community-based education groups to ensure that information on Internet safety and literacy is available to teachers and parents; and
- Cooperate with law enforcement officials to help prevent, police, and prosecute potential criminal activity online.
Have you ever wondered what happened to a character in a documentary after the filming ended?
Cartoon Network is airing an abridged version of CNN’s original documentary THE BULLY EFFECT this Sunday, April 28th, at 5:30 and 8 p.m. (ET/PT). CNN anchor Anderson Cooper hosts and engages in a frank and candid conversation about bullying.
Last year, Anderson Cooper’s AC3600 followed the kids profiled in Lee Hirsch’s 2011 film “Bully” to find out what happened to them since the documentary’s release.
The other day I learned that a colleague won a contest, the prize for which was a gift card for a store I’d never heard of. Curious, I Googled the store to find out what they sold (women’s accessories). The next time I went on Facebook, lo and behold, there was a sponsored ad for that store right next to my news feed.
Creepy? Maybe, but predictable. Facebook, like many websites, tracks where you go online and uses that information to serve you ads customized to your likes and habits.
It’s April 1st, and many of us are encountering April Fool’s jokes. It might be an article in the newspaper, a story on the radio, someone’s Facebook post, or an e-newsletter. In recent years, corporations have gotten into the act, too. In one famous example from 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page ad in the New York Times claiming they’d purchased the Liberty Bell to help reduce the US national debt. This year’s example looks like it will come from Scope, with an ad introducing a new, bacon-flavored mouthwash .
Page Harrington, Executive Director of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, home of the historic National Woman’s Party, reflects on Women’s History Month, the 100th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 and how sufffragists used a sort of social media of their own.
There have been great articles celebrating, remembering and raising awareness of women’s issues as part of Women’s History month. Whether 100 years ago or today, the disenfranchised still struggle to break-through and have their voices heard amongst the hyper-chatter inside the Beltway, Washington, DC.
Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty has won awards for its ads and viral videos. From the 2005 Evolution video , which shows how makeup and styling transform a relatively normal looking woman into looking like a supermodel, the videos have been unique and interesting.
In the latest installment of the campaign, Dove released a free Photoshop Action (a one click tool for achieving a particular effect) called “Beatuify.” Purportedly, it would help give skin a rosy and healthy glow.
What do Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have in common with entertainer will.i.am, actor Ashton Kutcher, and NBA all-star Chris Bosh? It’s not the ability to dunk a basketball. Nope. These very different celebrities share an appreciation for coding, the ability to write the code that lets computers and digital devices do the extraordinary things we often take for granted. And that’s why they’ve gotten together at code.org to emphasize the importance of learning to code.
Not everyone looks good in pink. But masses of people, all wearing pink, can send a powerful statement.
A few years ago, a couple of Canadian teens noticed a 9th grader was being bullied because he wore a pink shirt and, ergo thought the bullies, he was gay. The teens decided to do something about it, to no longer be bystanders but to become “upstanders.” They purchased 50 pink tank tops and, the next morning, handed them out to friends at school.
Getting a message from beyond the grave used to be the stuff of old horror movies or mediums hosting séances. Now, says a CNN story, several companies are offering services where your social networking site can continue to send messages from you after you’re dead.
Is this a good idea or not? I’m not sure.
Cool or Creepy, it’s a logical extension of social networking into the afterlife. We’ve already seen any number of tribute sites created to celebrate the life, accomplishments, and friendships of a deceased individual.
A few years ago, there was a major focus on Internet safety education, as if protecting kids from online predators and pornography were all that was needed for children to safely and effectively surf the Web. Today, much more attention is being paid to other areas of digital citizenship, for example responsible, ethical behavior and digital literacy. That is reflected in the results of two polls Cable in the Classroom released today.
We think of digital citizenship as a positive and proactive approach to helping children use digital tools safely and effectively, bringing together Internet safety and security with digital literacy, responsible, ethical behavior and civic engagement.
Over at edSurge comes word of a project to craft a “Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age.” The current version is a work in progress, with thoughts and contributions actively sought. The document currently focuses on what students should expect from others. It would be nice to detail what others should expect from students. Maybe it should be about rights, principles and responsibilities.
One of the things I like about digital citizenship, and a reason we at Cable in the Classroom support digital citizenship education, is its focus on rights and responsibilities.
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