Economists have long recognized that technological innovation and enhanced communication increase productivity and reduce friction in economic activity. And never before has technology’s impact on economic growth been as evident as it is today.
At IPI, we focus on technology and communications policy not only because it’s critical to economic growth, but also because government’s inherent tendency to regulate prospectively poses an active threat to the economic gains and lifestyle enhancements made possible by technological innovation.
The communications and technology industries are among the country’s most competitive and the biggest capital investors in the U.S. economy, and are thus prime engines of economic growth and job creation. It is critical that public policy encourages continued innovation and investment in the tech sector, and that we don’t limit the innovation upside with counterproductive taxes and regulations.
Proposed legislation in Georgia would expand broadband access by allowing electric co-ops to enter the broadband market. It also properly includes the necessary protections to ensure competition, such as barring the new co-op broadband entrants from charging exorbitant fees to their competitors for utility pole attachment.
The FCC is proposing to reaffirm its cable franchising rules, which are needed to limit local governments' efforts to increase their reach, regulations and fees (i.e., taxes).
Innovation continues to outpace government, especially the capacity of legislatures to design sound policy frameworks. The danger is that poor policy will hamper the rollout of smart technology.
Congress needs to create a clear standard that defines physical presence and other key terms, and protects small and modest-sized sellers from the burdens of onerous multi-state audits.
A successful consumer data privacy law would be a federal law that addresses interstate issues.
The FCC seeks to “limit municipal greed” with a “pro-consumer move” that “simply enforces the intention of federal law to limit the financial demands municipalities can make of cable providers,” wrote IPI president Tom Giovanetti. Some cities place a franchise fee on internet services, prohibited by the Internet Tax Freedom Act, he said: “When government imposes on companies, they end up being passed along” to consumers “in the form of higher prices.”
When government imposes costs on companies, they end up being passed along in the form of higher prices.
The internet got dramatically better in the year since internet regulations were reversed.
Congress is already thinking about how to restore the notion of taxation only with representation—i.e., restore a physical-presence standard, by simplifying business activity taxes (BAT).