Why I Had To Turn Down The Request To Testify At The Comcast/TWC Hearing

Earlier in the week, I was asked by the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, to be a witness at the upcoming Comcast & Time Warner Cable merger hearing, taking place on May 8th. The invite was for me to give details and background on interconnect agreements and how they work. A few people in the industry heard I turned down the request and wanted to know why, considering how much I have been writing on the topic as of late. I think it’s a fair question for them to ask, so I wanted to put it on record as to why I had to decline the invite.

While I would have liked to have testified, the timing simply didn’t work out. The date of the hearing is only two days before I pack up and leave for my CDN Summit and Streaming Media East conferences in NYC, which requires a lot of work. I made a commitment to those events first, not to mention all of the vendors, speakers and attendees that attend, to whom I have a commitment to produce the best show possible. It would have been nice to have done both, but I simply can’t get it all done in the allotted time. In addition to my oral testimony, I would have had to provide a detailed and in-depth written statement, with only six days to get it done, based on the timing of my invite. That leaves little time to prepare something that would have been rushed, which is not the kind of work I want to produce.

Some have said I am crazy not to do it based on the exposure it would get me, but I don’t select which jobs I take on based on the exposure. If I write something that a lot of people read, or do a presentation at an event that people find useful, that’s great. But I’m of the firm belief that picking and choosing which jobs you take on, simply based on how many people might see you, means you are putting your ego first, which to me, isn’t the right reason to do it.

I do realize that it is an honor to have been asked and I thank them for the opportunity. I take my commitment to the industry very seriously and will do everything I can to try to help educate others, when it is within my means to do so.