ADJUSTING THE PICTURE ON CABLE TV
Your Cover Story "Cable TV: A crisis looms" (Oct. 14) all but ignored our company and our industry's strategy to deploy state-of-the-art technology, develop local ties through programming, offer a comprehensive guarantee, and position ourselves to offer new and promising telecommunications products.
We have set our sights on what BUSINESS WEEK mistakenly terms "new rivals"--incumbent phone companies, satellite TV, and wireless technologies. For years, we have listened to these rivals making unmet promises as we moved to address the issues they represent in a focused fashion.
In my more than 20 years in the cable business, I have read many times of our industry's woes, only to see us adjust and succeed with sound strategies and entrepreneurial ingenuity. I am confident that we will persevere and thrive.
James L. Dolan, CEO
Cablevision Systems Corp.
Cable companies are arrogant, raise prices at every opportunity, lobby against regulation, give poor service, and generally ignore customer relations. Now, people are leaving them in droves when a reasonably economical alternative presents itself.
The great mystery is why everyone didn't anticipate this consequence. The cable companies have dropped the ball for too long. Don't pity them; pity their stockholders.
Crystal River, Fla.Return to top
SKY-HIGH EMOTIONS ON FLYING LAPTOPS
As an employee of a major manufacturer of radio equipment and an international traveler, I absolutely agree that personal electronic devices should be banned on aircraft ("Could a laptop bring down an airliner?" Science & Technology, Oct. 14). These emissions are extremely unpredictable. Besides, it wouldn't kill us to watch the movies, read BUSINESS WEEK, or even break out an old-fashioned pencil now and then, would it?
Allen Telecom Group
I do not believe that a CD player could "bring down an airliner" as your article implied. We need evidence of the danger. If CDs are indeed a real threat, then I would be the first not to use them in the air. The traveling public needs more definite data to convince it that all electronic devices are harmful to airliners.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
If there is the slightest possibility that electronic devices, including laptop computers, can interfere with an airline's electronic system, they should be banned on aircraft.
Michael R. Adler
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The Federal Aviation Administration should institute a design standard that would protect cockpit instrumentation from electromagnetic interference--and the industry should comply with it.
It's time to bring airplane passengers into the computer age, which they now enjoy everywhere except in the air! If we can develop a Boeing 777 airliner entirely by computers, we certainly can design protection into the cockpit.
You accurately portray the dangers that portable electronic devices pose to airline safety. But you ignore an alternative to restricting the use of electronic devices--that is, the shielding of aircraft electronics from interference.
Protecting electronics from interference is common in the military and would raise manufacturing costs. There is, however, a compelling justification for the expense. Eliminating laptops does nothing to protect electronics from powerful sources of interference outside the aircraft. If passenger safety is the primary concern, then shielded aircraft electronics is the solution.
William H. Payne
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.Return to top