Cox Communications Inc. president and CEO James Robbins said there are two
regulatory issues that most concern him.
One is that "the financial markets are in enough chaos today that any heavy
hand of government would probably make a situation that is already bad a lot
Second would be any government aid to his narrowband competitors looking to
get into the multichannel business. He said that after cable has spent $65
billion to roll out broadband, it would be "patently unfair" to give narrowband
competition on either the manufacturing side or the incumbent side a subsidy to
expand into broadband. "If they want to do broadband," he added, "they can risk
the capital just as we have."
Robbins was speaking to a Washington Metropolitan Cable Club luncheon crowd
as the recipient of Multichannel News' "Operator of the Year Award"
(Multichannel is a sister publication to Broadcasting & Cable).
Robbins told Multichannel's Marianne Paskowski that Cox was not in the
mood to buy or sell in the current financial climate. He also said high-speed
Internet and telephony services would continue to drive Cox's business going
forward. He pointed out that the company was adding phone service in an
additional market, but he wouldn't say which.
He also said he would be traveling to San Diego in the next couple of weeks
to get a first-hand look at the company's VOD test there. Cox had initially
planned to roll out VOD tests in five to seven markets, but it scaled back to two in order to "go
deeper" and learn the business, he added.