BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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56 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 INDUSTRY LEADERS Burhop Carries 'Just Do It' Attitude Into Retirement Private cable operators bid a fond farewell to a leader who ofered support, encouragement and advocacy to their industry for close to two decades. By Bryan J. Rader / Bandwidth Consulting LLC O n November 4, 2013, Bill Burhop announced his retirement after 17 years as executive director and lead lobbyist for the Independent Multi-Family Communications Council (IMCC). Tis marks the end of an era for the private cable industry. Te private cable industry began in the early 1980s as the original competitor to big franchise cable. Private cable companies sprouted up to ofer apartment owners and developers an option other than big cable to provide TV programming to their residents. Private cable companies, now known as private cable operators or PCOs, used to install large C-band dishes on apartment rooftops to access satellite programming without using public rights- of-way. By 1995, there were more than 1,500 PCOs across the country, with a particular concentration in the Sun Belt states. At that time, the FCC said this market served more than 2 million multiple-dwelling-unit (MDU) customers. Te C-band dishes eventually made way for small digital dishes, and PCOs' product mixes expanded to include broadband and digital voice. PCOs still did not feel that they ft into the traditional national cable associations, as their issues and market were quite diferent. Tere was a need for an association just for private cable companies that could address the specifc challenges this segment of the industry faced. In 1995, a group of PCOs formed the IMCC. A LEADING ADVOCATE Burhop was instrumental in the IMCC's inception and was a leading advocate for the private cable industry during his long tenure with the organization. He led and won many battles with the FCC and lobbied on business and legal issues central to PCOs' success with Congress, FCC commissioners and other important policymakers. Bill Burhop BBC_Jan14.indd 56 1/27/14 1:47 PM