Citizens Against Government Waste Releases New Book, TELECOM UNPLUGGED
Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released a new book, Telecom Unplugged: Ushering in a New Digital Era, that highlights recommendations for updating communications and information technology (IT) laws and regulations. Since its co-founder J. Peter Grace first published his 1984 book Burning Money, the Waste of Your Tax Dollars, CAGW has been closely monitoring the technological ineptitude pervading the federal government as well as the impact of telecommunications policy on taxpayers and consumers.
"As the private sector rapidly responds to marketplace demand with more innovation, the federal government lags behind trying to play catch-up and fails to see the impact its policies have on taxpayers and consumers," said CAGW President Tom Schatz. "The current telecom debates and the federal government's failure to update telecommunication laws and regulations are symptoms of a larger problem. Making the Internet tax moratorium permanent, eliminating the Universal Service Fund fee, and maintaining current Internet governance rules are several of the steps that must be taken to ensure that the telecommunications industry continues to thrive."
The book updates and expands on CAGW's 2007 publication, Telecom Regulation: Pulling the Plug on Government Interference, and reviews several areas in the communications industry where government policies harm taxpayers and consumers. Issues highlighted in the book include:
- Chapter 1: Internet Tax Laws: The expiration of the Internet tax moratorium, remote sales taxes, and taxes on wireless services and digital goods.
- Chapter 2: Broadband Deployment: The National Broadband Plan, Universal Service Fund, Connect America Fund, the E-Rate program, municipal broadband, the Rural Utilities Service, and the broadband funding in the 2009 stimulus bill.
- Chapter 3: The Airwaves: The upcoming spectrum auctions and a discussion on à la carte television programming.
- Chapter 4: Internet Governance Issues: The recent attempt by the United Nations to take control of the Internet, as well as an update on net neutrality.
- Chapter 5: Regulatory Burdens: The regulatory burdens on the communications industry and efforts to reform the existing regime.
"The telecommunications industry provides vital economic innovation in America, despite the burden of excessive and outdated government regulations," said CAGW Director of Technology and Telecommunications Policy Deborah Collier. "This report demonstrates the need for the federal government to move forward with commonsense reforms to ensure that the industry continues to flourish."