Administration Must Act to Restore IT Sector Growth, Eisenach Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bush administration must abandon its “no policy is good policy” approach to the technology sector and take swift action in at least four key areas to bring about an economic recovery, according to Progress & Freedom Foundation President Jeffrey A. Eisenach, a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team.
“The collapse of the information technology sector is the leading cause of the U.S. economic downturn, and its recovery will undoubtedly play a crucial role in an eventual rebound,” Eisenach writes in an opinion piece appearing in today’s edition of the Washington Times. “The Bush administration’s actions will determine how quickly the tech sector gets back on its feet, and four areas are key: broadband, intellectual property, spectrum and privacy.”
The leading issue is broadband deployment, according to Eisenach. “The administration should tell the FCC to stop studying the issue and start deregulating,” in order to “spur hundreds of billions in new investment and drive demand for a new generation of PCs and other information appliances.” On digital content, Eisenach writes that “the Bush administration needs to call the first meeting” of content providers, hardware manufacturers, ISPs and communications companies to devise a system “for restoring a reasonable degree of property protection for on-line content”. There is demand for digital music and movies, but the current market is unsustainable, and industry’s “incentives are so incompatible, they’ll never do it by themselves,” he writes.
Eisenach also calls on the administration to make more spectrum available for next-generation services and adopt an “expedited schedule” for reform of the current system. “Spectrum policies have crippled progress on the next-generation wireless services that would otherwise be driving demand for everything from broadband-enabled wireless laptops to fixed-wireless alternatives to wireline telephony and cable TV,” he writes. Finally, the administration should oppose “growth-killing regulation of the Web, especially on the privacy front” vetoing “anything resembling the Hollings bill.”
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.