Cable has a lot to learn. It has no problem impressing teachers with its commitment to education via Cable in the Classroom, through which it provides free copies of shows and materials to schools. But it still hasn’t figured out how to gracefully add a business dimension to the relationship. "CIC goes in and talks about all the wonderful free resources that cable can offer, and then the next day the system marketing person comes in and talks about offering business-class services for fees," says Doug Levin, CIC’s director of education policy. "That’s a little confusing to educators." CIC is putting its goodwill with local schools to work by helping operators better communicate their other offerings to local educators, including broadband, networking and phone. At last year’s National Show, CIC partnered with CTAM’s business services committee to form an education subcommittee. A website was launched and they’ve co-hosted events to match operators with educators. The latest was at the National Education Computing Conference in San Diego, which attracted more than 15,000 school IT specialists. CIC also created materials to tout cable’s advanced networking services, an area the telcos have cornered, Levin says. With $536 billion spent in 2004-05 on K-12 education, there’s a huge opportunity for cable to gain market share. The CTAM/CIC subcommittee meets again at this week’s Summit to hone its pitch to teachers. —SB

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