President Bush calls for ban on broadband Internet tax (updated)

“US President George W. Bush has urged Congress to slap a permanent ban on the taxes consumers pay for high-speed Internet connections, reports Associated Press. Bush has set 2007 as a deadline for providing speedy Internet access to every American home, and has acknowledged that America is lagging in getting broadband available nationwide,” Warwick Ashford reports for ITWeb.

“To encourage the spread of this technology, Bush says the users should not be taxed, and that the government should take steps to encourage the spread of competitive services,” Ashford reports. Full article here.

“Bush is [also] announcing that the Energy Department has selected partners for more than $350 million in new research projects to remove roadblocks to developing hydrogen fuel technology. The projects will address the problem of storing hydrogen on vehicles; increasing consumers’ knowledge about hydrogen energy and making hydrogen fuel cells that are both durable and affordable,” Deb Riechmann reports for The Associated Press. “Bush also is setting a goal for most Americans to have electronic health records within 10 years. Paper ones, he says, can lead to errors, inefficiencies and poor communication among doctors and nurses. To help reach the goal, the president is creating a national health information technology coordinator, a sub-Cabinet-level position.”

Riechmann reports, “On broadband, the name for the high-speed Internet connections over phone, cable and satellites, Bush said in a speech last week that America is ‘lagging a little bit.’ To encourage more broadband connections, he believes users should not be taxed, and that the government should encourage competition among providers. Bush has already signed into a law a two-year extension of the Internet Access Tax moratorium, which expired last fall. Now, he’s calling on Congress to pass legislation that would extend the moratorium to broadband and make it permanent. The House has passed a moratorium on user taxes levied against consumers who subscribe to broadband; the Senate is scheduled to address the issue this week.”

Full article here.

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