Florida Internet & Television looks to future innovations at industry summit

the future of cable

Cable industry leaders, technicians and policy experts will come together this week for a glimpse of what’s to come at the Future of Internet and Television Conference, known as FITConFL.

The summit, which kicks off Wednesday, will be presented by the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association (FCTA) and Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, South Florida Chapter.

As a highlight of FITConFL, FCTA will unveil a renewed vision for the future, starting with new branding as Florida Internet & Television (FIT).

FCTA President and CEO Brad Swanson.

“From content streaming and virtual reality innovations, to telehealth and home automation, we would like our friends in the legislative and government sectors to know how our member companies are leading the evolution of how people connect to the world around them,” said FCTA President and CEO Brad Swanson said about the new FIT brand.

For more than half a century, FIT – as Florida’s leading telecommunication trade group – has represented the cable industry’s interests in the Florida Capitol. With more than $6 billion invested in the state by cable companies, supporting more than 100,000 Florida jobs, FIT members provide innovations in cable and telecommunications to nearly 13.5 million Floridians.

Membership is comprised of cable companies from across the state, including Atlantic Broadband, Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications and Mediacom.

According to the FCTA website, the group also sponsors programs in “education, mentoring, volunteerism and community spirit” statewide.

SCTE, founded in 1969 as the Society of Cable Television Engineers, is the nonprofit professional association that provides technical leadership, education, and a uniform standards program for the telecommunications industry.

During FITConFL, Swanson will provide an industry call to action with insights into Florida’s economic and political future. Swanson, a former executive director of the Florida Transportation Commission, has served as the group’s president since July 2016.

“What was formerly known as FCTA’s Annual Meeting has been re-imagined and redesigned to facilitate leading policy and industry discussions for the evolving internet and television industries,” a release said.

The rebranding comes a little over a year since Swanson joined FIT to help the association boost its presence in state’s legislative, regulatory and political areas.

“Our previous name and brand needed an update to reflect the high-speed, online, cutting-edge technology our members provide to millions of Florida residents, businesses and visitors every day,” Swanson added. “We look forward to using our new brand as a platform to communicate our industry’s unrivaled economic, charitable and technological value we create in every corner of this state.”

FIT’s new look and feel, Swanson said, will be accompanied by a broader communications strategy to align its message with those of its members, all high-tech companies that have grown beyond solely beyond just cable services. The approach will also employ social media all to engage a younger industry demographic.

FCTA Chair Derek Cooper, Comcast’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Investment, will call the conference to order.

“Encompassing service providers like Comcast and Spectrum, content creators like HSN and REVOLT TV, technology and technical partners like ARRIS and Knight Enterprises, our industry as a whole is redefining the way we all live, work and play,” Cooper said. “Our industry’s multi-billion-dollar investments in new infrastructure and upgrading existing networks throughout the Sunshine State ensure that everyone has the connectivity they need to harness the future.”

At the conference, Florida’s top industry leaders will receive updates on recent state and federal legislative and regulatory policy developments affecting the industry. Attendees will also learn what’s next in the world of content creation; hearing from experts on meeting workforce challenges; exploring how the Internet of Things (IoT) affects our daily lives; and more.

For instance, there will be a panel on “Building and Maintaining Tomorrow’s Workforce Today,” on “new technologies and growing consumer demands for smarter systems and faster connections.”

Swanson also said that FIT’s public affairs television show “Capital Dateline” is getting a makeover — FITv — that will debut early next year.

The show will feature “one-on-one interviews and expert panels” with Florida Cabinet members, legislators, reporters, business and industry figures, as well as other prominent political figures, and will offer segments on new developments in the internet and television industry.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind program that is reaching Florida’s top influencers with the leading updates and issues that are shaping our state,” said Swanson.

FIT’s new website and episodes of FITv are at internetandtvfl.com, and there are new social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, each through @FLInternetTV.

Additional FITConFL panels include an examination of veterans in the cable industry and “The Future of Content: Adapting to Demand and Technology.” Also on the agenda is a cocktail reception and industry dinner, networking opportunities, a golf outing on the Trump Nationals Silver Fox Championship Golf Course, and the annual FCTA Board Meeting.

FITConFL continues through Friday at Trump National Doral Miami, 4400 Northwest 87th Ave., Doral. Full agenda and registration information are available here.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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