NCTA explores dropping 'cable' from brand

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is exploring the idea of dropping the word "cable" from its brand, according to a recent trademark filing.

The lobbying group, which represents major cable MSOs, programmers and technology vendors, filed a trademark application for the brand "NCTA The Internet and Television Association" on Dec. 27, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Formerly known as the National Cable Television Association, NCTA added the word telecommunications to its brand in 2001, as its members began adding telephone and high-speed Internet services to their portfolios.

High-speed Internet access has become the fastest growing product for Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and other NCTA members. That business appears to be the focus of the new brand that NCTA is considering.

"The trademark filing is nothing more than exploring some ideas for the NCTA brand," NCTA spokesman Brian Dietz told FierceCable on Friday.

In years past, NCTA focused much of its lobbying efforts on staving off regulation of cable programming rates. The association, which is led by former FCC chairman Michael Powell, has focused more on issues related to the high-speed Internet business during the last few years, including network neutrality and usage-based broadband pricing.

According to the trademark filing, NCTA said the new brand could be used for "association services, namely, promoting the interests of the association's members in the broadband Internet, television, telephony, and cable-provided communications industries."

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