Robert Sachs

Position: President and chief executive officer of the National Cable Television Association in Washington.

Career highlights: Most recently, Sachs served as senior vice president for corporate and legal affairs of Continental Cablevision/MediaOne. He was a consultant to the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy, as well as legislative counsel to the National Telelcommunications and Information Administration.

Age: 50

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Rochester, a master's in journalism from Columbia University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

You have worked on both the policy and commercial side of the cable industry. How has your outlook on the issues changed or developed over the years? "When I joined Continental Cablevision in '79, cable TV was essentially retransmitting local broadcast stations and providing a limited number of satellite networks. Today, cable is providing hundreds of channels, high-speed Internet [access], and local and satellite TV services. So, it's been great to be part of the evolution of the industry as it has evolved, but the policy questions have changed and in many respects become much more complex."

One of the more complex policy questions is whether cable companies offering Internet services should be classified as telecom providers. What is the NCTA's answer? "The NCTA will continue to move forward as the voice of the cable industry, but the industry now has three lines of business, which are converging -- video, voice and data. As more and more of our services become digital, they all start to bear a lot of similarity. Because this industry has taken the lead in terms of broad-band development, one of the roles of the NCTA would be to ensure government regulation doesn't stall that deployment."