Verizon Lobbying GOP for Telecom Overhaul

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Verizon Lobbying GOP for Telecom Overhaul
National Journal
By David Hatch

LAS VEGAS -- Tom Tauke, Verizon's top lobbyist, told National Journal
Thursday that the telecommunications giant is urging the new Congress not to
abandon earlier Democratic plans to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act,
a law widely viewed as outdated for today's broadband-driven universe.
"We're encouraging Republicans on the House side to look at overhauling the
Communications Act," Tauke affirmed during an interview in a private lounge
reserved for exhibitors at the Consumer Electronics Show. "There's a whole
array of issues that arise . . . because of the changes in technology," he
said yet "there is no policy in place for the Internet broadband

He wants a rewrite to tackle a range of topics, from regulation of Web-based
"smart grids" designed to reduce power consumption to privacy protections
for digital data stored in the "cloud" of the Internet. He also sees a need
for Congress to weigh in on bread and butter telecom matters, including the
ongoing debate over restructuring the $7. 3 billion universal service phone
subsidy fund for the broadband era. Furthermore, he said lawmakers should
strengthen intellectual property protections for high-tech companies and
provide more guidance on Internet tax issues.


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