TIA praises Bush Administration for national broadband strategy

April 27, 2004 - President calls for universal, affordable access to broadband technology by 2007.

The TIA has praised the Bush Administration for stating its commitment to promoting innovation and economic security through broadband deployment.

The TIA applauded President Bush for outlining a foundation for a national broadband strategy. This includes his March 27 call for universal, affordable access for all Americans to broadband technology by 2007, permanent extension of the tax-free status for Internet access, increased spectrum availability for wireless broadband, creation of technical standards for broadband-over-power lines, deregulation of new broadband infrastructure deployments and simplification and standardization of rights-of-way processes that will make it easier for service providers to access federal lands to build out broadband infrastructure.

"The TIA has been calling for a national broadband strategy for many years now," says TIA President Matthew Flanigan. "This includes support of the policies the president outlined today. We believe that, as a package, these goals will make the United States more competitive with other nations that already have a national broadband policy and that recognize the fundamental relationship between information and communication technologies and their country's social and economic well-being."

The president's speech coincides with discussion in the Senate today on the extension of the Internet access tax moratorium. The TIA has actively supported S.150, The Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act championed by Senator George Allen (R-Va.).

In addition, the association is again calling on the Senate to pass the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act, critical to freeing up the spectrum the president refers to for the next-generation of broadband wireless services. The TIA also renews its call for passage of the Broadband Internet Access Act, which provides two-tiered fiscal incentives for the deployment of current and next-generation broadband networks.

Finally, the association is asking Congress to fully fund the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Loan program in fiscal 2005, as authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill, and to take all appropriate steps to assist the Rural Utilities Service in facilitating the processing of loan funds provided in FYs 2002-2004.

The TIA is based in Arlington, VA. For more information visit www.tiaonline.org.

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