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December 15, 2008

TIA Urges Congress to Consider Economic Stimulus for Broadband Deployment and Adoption

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor


The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA (News - Alert)), providing support, standards and business development, and intelligence for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, today advised congressional leaders to put in place specific broadband deployment and adoption incentives in the economic stimulus bill.
 
Congress is planning to consider the stimulus bill at the beginning of the 111th Congress.  TIA’s proposal includes specific incentives that will motivate investment across all broadband platforms, including wireless and fixed broadband, and signifies a unified package for the ICT community.
 
Representing the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry,
Grant Seiffert, president of TIA, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders in which he outlines the benefits of broadband technology for Americans.
 
He writes: “Broadband networks directly impact the productivity of our industries and our economy, and pivotally affect public safety, education, health care, and countless other functions in Americans’ daily lives.  Like any other infrastructure project, the deployment and use of broadband will significantly increase and maintain job growth well beyond the initial investment in the infrastructure, laptops and computing devices themselves. Broadband incentives are a necessary component of a 21st century stimulus package.”
 
TIA’s letter praised and built upon a bid by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) that would produce 97,500 direct jobs and 2.5 million jobs throughout the economy in the near-term with every $5 billion investment, according to CWA estimates. 
 
Adding to the CWA proposal, TIA recommends including new tiers of tax incentives for a comprehensive approach that would include all broadband platforms. The proposal also highlights specific recommendations for tiers of service and tax benefits. TIA’s tactic acknowledges that a ubiquitous broadband infrastructure has four crucial and complementary components. These include fixed broadband, wireless broadband, satellite broadband and broadband core and backbone transport.
 
In creating a direct grant program for rural broadband deployments, also included in the CWA proposal, TIA advises officials to consider a $25 billion grant program for deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved areas. For this proposition, TIA requests that Congress consider stimulus for broadband demand by offering incentives such as vouchers for low-income Americans (including both adults and students) so that they can buy laptops, mobile handsets and other computing devices; a tax credit for small- and medium-sized businesses that purchase/upgrade their PCs, laptops, mobile handsets, broadband equipment, services, and software; and allowing eligible consumers for Lifeline and Link-Up to use discounts for broadband services and devices as well as telephony.
 
To read TIA’s letter to congressional leaders, please go to the Capitol Hill filings page at tiaonline.org.
 
Since 1924, the Telecommunications Industry Association (News - Alert) (TIA) has been enhancing the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. It does this through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis.
 
TIA’s Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, ArrayComm (News - Alert), AttivaCorp, Avaya, Bechtel Communications, Inc., Cam Communications, Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated, Ericsson, Inc., GENBAND, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, LGE, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks, Nortel, OneChip Photonics Inc., Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tellabs, Tyco Electronics (News - Alert), Ulticom, Inc.,  and Verari Systems. Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, Orca Systems and Telcordia Technologies.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart




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