TMCnet Feature
August 05, 2013

Broadband for America Applauds Upcoming Acts

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Broadband for America is, pretty much, about what it says on the box, in that it stands for the ability for all Americans, no matter where they live, to have quality access to the Internet. So when issues of policy come up that may affect the ability of Americans to access the Internet, Broadband for America takes an interest. The group recently took such an interest when it released a statement about two pieces of policy that would have far-reaching impact on Americans and Web access.

The two policies in question are the Internet Tax Freedom Act and the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, and both prompted responses from Broadband for America's honorary co-chairs John Sununu and Harold Ford, Jr. The Internet Tax Freedom Act, if passed, would ban, permanently, both state and local taxation of Internet access, while the Digital Goods and Services Tax would set up a national framework of taxes on digital goods like MP3s or mobile apps. 

Image via Shutterstock

The statement from Broadband for America essentially came out in favor of both Acts, with the statement kicking off with applause for both Senator Ron Wyden and Senator John Thune for the work in this field. The statement continued on, urging the remainder of Congress to pass the acts. The Internet Tax Freedom Act would keep broadband access more open by removing local taxes and accompanying fees from being part of the payment package, while the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act would keep digital goods from essentially costing more in some locations than in others by keeping any accompanying sales taxes on the same level.

Given that the private sector, so far, has invested fully $1.2 trillion in broadband infrastructure since 1996, it's clear that there's plenty to lose here. The creation of 6.3 million jobs in the United States, based on reports from the U.S. Telecom Association (News - Alert), is also not something to ignore, especially given the current state of the job market. But with the passage of these two bills, according to Broadband for America, an environment of “certainty and fairness” will be further established while at the same time “stimulating continued growth of online commerce and the Internet economy.”

Stimulation of the economy, even if only the Internet economy, is vital to the long-term health of the nation, and one economy that comes back vibrant will often have a helpful effect on the larger economy. After all, those who are part of the Internet economy need to buy things too, and these things mean jobs for those who produce such things. Putting a little extra punch in the Internet economy has a lot of potential to help out the rest of the economy, and that would be a welcome development for a great many people indeed.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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