: Microsoft Flexes Lobbying Muscle"> Meanwhile, Sens. George Allen, R-Va., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., have been drafting a bill to accelerate the development of wireless broadband technologies. The measure would among other things direct the FCC to make more spectrum available for unlicensed use, establish technical rules for that spectrum and establish "baseline Internet connectivity principles." Mundie said that the proposed bill is compatible with Microsofts recommendations. Microsoft also offered support for the Bells campaign for deregulation. The Bells argue that they should not be subjected to last-mile leasing regulations when it comes to broadband services because their main rivals, the cable companies, are not regulated as such. They maintain that the regulatory requirements hinder them from making new investment in high-speed data networks. (The Bells have recently begun lobbying for similar deregulation for voice services as well.) Mundie told lawmakers that Microsoft has sympathy for the Bells argument.Keeping with the times, Mundie also noted that the telecom policy under consideration is a critical issue for the countrys national security. Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, who also testified before the Senate panel this morning, said that the government must subsidize broadband deployment because the private sector simply will not make the necessary investment in this economy. "You need to throw money at [the problem]," Hundt said, adding that it would cost taxpayers only a fraction of the cost to build the countrys roads. Related Stories:
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From Microsofts perspective, some cable operators are impeding consumers freedom to connect to the Internet where and when they want to. Some cable contracts restrict users to connecting company-approved equipment with the companys network.