‘Invest in broadband,’ NCTA tells Obama team

Mon, 01/12/2009 - 7:35am
Brian Santo

Investment in broadband should be considered in any national economic stimulus plan, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) suggested in a meeting with Susan Crawford, a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team and co-lead of the FCC Agency Review Team.

The NCTA proposed “a number of options for promoting broadband investment, including additional bonus depreciation, tax credits and interest-free broadband infrastructure bonds that entitle the purchaser to a tax credit,” according to an NCTA letter reviewing the conversation between NCTA CEO Kyle McSlarrow and Crawford, and sent to Crawford’s attention.

The NCTA also backed the notion of devoting stimulus money to infrastructure for unserved and underserved areas where broadband coverage is now scanty, and the NCTA backed setting aside money to subsidize access for low-income citizens. Any stimulus policy should be technology neutral, the NCTA recommended.

The NCTA also urged policies that “support the ongoing migration of channels to a digital platform and the deployment of new, switched digital technologies. It also means policies that resist placing new demands and constraints on bandwidth use that are totally divorced from what consumers want: faster broadband, more high-definition content, and the deployment of new innovative and interactive services that take advantage of our two-way network.”

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