Top policy experts will feature at broadband conference in Washington

'Broadband Outlook 2002: Vision, Strategy, Implementation', to be held in Washington on 23 January, aims at exploring cutting-edge trends in broadband business, policy, programming and technology. It will also try to offer unique insights into the future of this fast-paced, dynamic marketplace.

The conference will tackle questions such as:

a) What new services are on tap for 2002 and where will they appear? On the TV? On the PC? On both?

b) When will interactive TV arrive and, more importantly, do consumers want it? What are the limits that consumers are willing to pay for faster Internet connections, pay-for-play streaming services, and interactive TV?

c) What role do broadband communications play in times of crisis and how secure are broadband networks?

d) Are cable companies, telcos, satellite providers and wireless companies technologically ready to deliver on the promise of broadband? Which broadband architecture is best positioned to offer the range of new interactive TV and voice services? What new blueprints are on the drawing board?

e) Will more capital flow to broadband companies due to the importance of communications during times of conflict? Will streaming media gain steam as broadband penetration increases?

f ) What are the financial challenges facing broadband service and content providers? Which new broadband services are investors betting on?

g) Does the government have stake in ensuring broadband network reliability and service in times of national emergencies? How does broadband change the policy landscape and what are the pressing challenges for 2002?

h) Is interactive TV a threat to consumer privacy? Will new laws help or hinder the development of new broadband services?

i) Which broadband medium - cable, satellite, telco or wireless - will win the broadband race?

j) Will the growing number of alliances and cross-ownership linkages among ISPs, phone companies and cable operators speed the penetration of broadband? How will these alliances and linkages shape competition in broadband.

Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Richard E. Wiley will introduce the day's keynote speakers. There will be an expanded speaker lineup for panels on business models, financial prospects, programming, and technology. The speakers include the senior V-P of Advanced Broadband Services, AT&T Broadband Susan Marshall, VP, Earthlink Communications, Tom Andrus, CTO, Charter Communications Steve Silva, CEO, Intertainer, Jonathan Taplin, VP of Interactive Services, Sony Corp. of America, Saul Shapiro, East Coast managing editor, Michael Silberman, and VP of Broadband and Interactive Services, ESPN Manish Jha.

Cahners Publishing has signed on as a conference sponsor, joining the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and Broadband Daily. Cahners publishes Multichannel News, Broadband Week, and Broadcasting & Cable.

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