Capitol Connection Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Posted: December 19, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

For George Mason University Professor Michael R. Kelley, there is more to celebrate this month than the winter holiday. Today marks the 20th anniversary of George Mason’s Capitol Connection, America’s pioneer multichannel wireless cable system, which Kelley founded in 1981 to bring C-SPAN’s coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives to the White House and other Washington area offices not served by conventional wired cable. Capitol Connection has been servicing business, government, and media organizations in the Washington, D.C., area ever since.

The Capitol Connection’s microwave television service currently maintains antennas on nearly 600 office buildings in the District and nearby Maryland and Virginia suburbs. It also serves more than 1,700 government agencies, law firms, embassies, trade associations, and business patrons with more than 35,000 televisions. It all started with an initial capital investment of $6,000 from the George Mason University Foundation. Over the past 20 years, the Capitol Connection has provided more than $2.5 million in monetary support to the university.

“Twenty years is a long time in telecommunications,” says Kelley. “Today, we are one of the very few, small freestanding telecom providers that hasn’t merged with or been acquired by a bigger company. It’s been fun and I look forward to another 20 years as we change, adapt, and move into the technology of the future.”

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