TIA states technology, telecom policy priorities for 2014; seeks support from President Obama

TIA's "Innovation Agenda" calls for action to expand broadband infrastructure, reform the tax code, improve global market access, and encourage progress on healthcare IT initiatives.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has released its 2014 Innovation Agenda, which identifies the organization’s technology and telecom policy priorities for the year ahead. According to TIA, the Innovation Agenda "is focused on three high level goals: to drive investment, recapture global investment, and enable forward-looking technologies." With each, TIA has identified specific policy positions it will advocate to help achieve these critical goals.

As President Obama prepares for his upcoming State of the Union address, TIA also delivered a letter thanking the President for his commitment to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry and calling on him to continue to support initiatives that will invigorate technology innovation, grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. (The TIA's Innovation Agenda and letter to president Obama are available here.)

In the letter, TIA president Grant Seiffert said, “While the ICT industry is driving U.S. economic growth and job creation, it also faces critical challenges in the years ahead. With the Innovation Agenda, TIA is putting forward a clear, achievable roadmap for addressing these challenges and ensuring that the U.S. continues to lead the world in tech and telecom innovation. Importantly, our agenda encourages a ‘light touch’ approach to regulation, seeking to avoid government overreach that would stifle economic opportunity.”

“Among TIA’s most important policy goals is driving investment through nationwide, next-generation broadband access and increased spectrum availability,” Seiffert added. “Government policy can help make certain our infrastructure keeps pace as consumers and businesses become more mobile and move to the cloud. At the same time, our leaders must fully understand the global nature of our industry, and pursue policies and diplomacy that ensure open markets globally for U.S. ICT products.”

As part of its Innovation Agenda, and in the letter to President Obama, TIA outlined several top priorities. These include:

-- Broadband Development. Through economic and regulatory incentives for network deployments and upgrades, the U.S. government can create investment in next-generation broadband infrastructure.

-- Expand Global Market Access & Trade Opportunities. Securing access to international markets can be achieved by promoting trade liberalization and policies that are market-based and technology-neutral.

-- Enhance Global Cybersecurity. Global voluntary approaches to cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection are necessary to avoid policies that could negatively impact investment in innovation, market access, interoperability, and security of global networks.

In addition, TIA says its Innovation Agenda reflects an expanded organizational focus in an area that is increasingly important for the future of technology and society:

-- Health IT. Healthcare systems should fully leverage the broad array of solutions available in the health information technology ecosystem, including the devices, systems, software applications, and other technologies that store, share, and analyze health information.

In the letter sent to President Obama, TIA President Grant Seiffert concluded, “The U.S. economy benefits tremendously from the multiplier effect of ICT infrastructure investment. Growth in this sector not only creates jobs in manufacturing equipment and deploying physical infrastructure, but also leads to economic growth through the creation of new businesses, services, and technologies in other sectors of the economy such as healthcare and public safety. Each year we share with you TIA’s Innovation Agenda, which…provides a concrete set of policy recommendations that the U.S. government can implement...We appreciate your Administration’s adoption of many of these recommendations, and look forward to continued progress in these areas.”

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