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The service side of the industry did not fare much better. Jobs in the services sector of the IT industry fell by 8,000 from the previous month, led by a decline of 3,400 jobs for telecommunications services.
The Internet industry, which once led the economy and set new levels of productivity for the nation, is stagnant.
At the Federal Communications Commission, regulators are still whimsically pretending that broadband carried over a cable company's copper wire should be treated differently than broadband carried over a telephone company's copper wire. Wireless Internet is barely considered at all; satellite Internet is ignored; and policies that could spur investment in voice over Internet Protocol may finally get some consideration--next year.
After years of concerted effort, there is still no national policy for the release of broadband.
And it is about to get worse--much, much worse. A handful of senators have blocked passage of an extension to the Internet tax moratorium, putting every Internet subscriber at risk for billions of dollars in new and predatory taxes from state and local governments. New taxes can now be levied on Internet access, broadband equipment and connections, e-mail, instant messaging and even downloads.
When this happens, the magnificent economic machine that is the Internet will slowly grind to a stop, as companies and consumers cut back their use of the Internet, service providers go bankrupt under the crush of tax compliance from 7,200 taxing authorities and the dream of a connected America is quietly killed by state and local tax commissars.
It's not too late. Congress still has time. But it will only act under pressure--and only when the calls for action become a roar. The message is simple--pass the permanent extension to the moratorium on taxation of Internet access. Pass a national antispam law. Deregulate the Internet. Create a national policy on broadband. Do it now.
It falls to us to see that the message gets delivered.