FCC Chairman addresses spectrum issues, broadband developments, competition policies and an open Internet
LAS VEGAS — (BUSINESS WIRE) — January 9, 2015 — Day two and three of the 2015 International CES® featured top executives from CBS, Cisco, Comcast, Condé Nast, Fox, Google, McDonald’s, MediaLink and The Walt Disney Company on the CES keynote stage, as well as a candid discussion with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler on tech policy issues. Every major technology company from around the globe has convened in Las Vegas at the world’s top innovation event by exhibiting, speaking, sponsoring or attending. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the 2015 CES runs through tomorrow in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The International CES has broken every record as wireless, sensors and the internet combine and entrepreneurs present innovations which enhance the human condition and solve problems in health care, transportation, safety and connectivity,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.
“The excitement of CES can be felt around the world, with more than 20,000 products launching at CES this week from 3,600 companies and breaking news from top global brands announced from the CES keynote stage,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, International CES and corporate business strategy, CEA. “With 2.2 million net square feet of exhibits, including 375 startups, the products unveiled at the 2015 CES will revolutionize the technology world and pave the way for the future of innovation.”
For a second year in a row, Shapiro had a one-on-one conversation with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The conversation covered online video service providers, Open Internet rules, paid prioritization, spectrum auctions and accessibility issues. Chairman Wheeler reiterated the need for a regulatory paradigm that encourages competition and innovation at the same time. “The old regulatory system doesn’t work anymore and we’ve got to have a new way of approaching that,” he said. Part of that paradigm, according to Wheeler, is ensuring innovators and consumers have open access to the networks. Wheeler laid out a timeline for his Open Internet proposal, confirming he would circulate an order to his fellow commissioners starting February 5, ahead of a February 26 vote. While he did not confirm support for Title II reform, he maintained the new rules will incentivize competition. Wheeler then turned to spectrum policy and expressed his disappointment that the broadcasters have slowed down the incentive auction with their recent lawsuit, but felt, as CEA does, that the request to delay is without merit. He said the auction will go on in early 2016 as planned.
During the Fast Innovation: Disrupt or be Disrupted Keynote, moderator David Kirkpatrick, founder, host and CEO, Techonomy, led a wide-ranging conversation on the Internet of Things (IoT), data security and business practices that foster innovation. Panelists John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco; Neil Smit, president and CEO of Comcast Cable; and Werner Struth, chairman of Robert Bosch LLC, spoke openly about the need to innovate, reorganize and act nimbly as the IoT expands and more of the world is digitized and connected. Chambers believes that soon every business will be a tech company as everything connects to the IoT. “To keep up with the pace of change, companies can’t be afraid to think exponentially, in other words, think like a startup,” said Chambers. One of the biggest issues companies are grappling with as the IoT evolves is who owns the collected data. Smit said the principle of transparency is going to be critical.
The Brand Matters keynote kicked off with MediaLink's Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan having a one-on-one interview with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves. Their discussion focused on the opportunities for entertainment networks like CBS. “We have to create great content and get it to people in ways they want to experience it," said Moonves. “We need to make sure we make that content available to everyone.” He explained that CBS wants consumers to watch their content but is not concerned with where it’s watched. The two discussed how viewership tracking must be updated as consumer viewing habits change. “Eight-year-olds and 80-year olds matter,” said Moonves, explaining why the rapid growth in video consumption across all age categories should inspire advertisers to focus beyond the 18-35 year-old category.
Their discussion was followed by a panel conversation lead by MediaLink President and COO Wenda Harris Millard with executives from Condé Nast, Fox, Google, McDonald’s and The Walt Disney Co. The panelists discussed how their “corporate DNA” dictates their distribution and personalization strategy. The panelists agreed that all good advertising strategy has to emanate from quality product and that mobile is offering unprecedented opportunities. Margo Georgiadis, president Americas of Google said that, “technology enables personalization and it should be like a toothbrush, something a lot of people use at least twice a day.”
The Market for Smart Watches SuperSession, presented by CEA, was
moderated by Tim Bajarin, president, Creative Strategies, with executive
panelists from Basis, an Intel company, Motorola Mobility, Samsung and
Yahoo. The panelists discussed design criteria, analyzed market
potential and presented differing views on the idea of whether or not
the smart watch needs a “killer app” to catch on with consumers. The
panelists also placed a strong emphasis on “glanceability” and
convenience, both being key characteristics of any smart watch. The idea
of, “the network effect” emerged on the panel, suggesting smart watch
value will be derived when whole families and friends can achieve
unique, personal connections with each other that only a smart watch
with sophisticated sensors can accomplish (e.g. the ability to send
haptic messages of heart rate with other owners). Panelists concluded
that the smart watch has a very diverse market potential.