CompTIA Agenda: Innovative, Competitive IT

Among the group's priorities for 2007 are promoting U.S. tech innovation, keeping the work force globally competitive and advancing broadband Internet.

Promoting U.S. tech innovation, keeping the work force globally competitive and advancing broadband Internet are three of the seven priorities CompTIA, a Washington-based group representing the business interests of the IT industry, encourages Congress and U.S. policymakers to focus on in 2007.

CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association) said in order to keep Americas workers and businesses strong, competitive and growing, it intends to promote technological innovation by, among other approaches, reforming the U.S. patent system so that it properly balances incentives and protections.

In addition, CompTIA wants the government to create a permanent R&D tax credit, dedicate more funding to basic R&D at U.S. universities and research facilities, and promote adoption of platform-neutral interoperability standards.

To keep the U.S. work force globally competitive, CompTIA encourages policymakers to update the Workforce Investment Act, passed in 1998 to consolidate and streamline the nations employment and training programs, to place a greater emphasis on the acquisition of IT skills.

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Passing an IT training tax credit, increasing the current number of H-1B visa workers presently allowed to enter the United States and directing more funding to support early math and science education are also among the groups recommendations for 2007.

The group aims to advance a ubiquitous broadband Internet and avoid the imposition of "natural-monopoly-based" regulation that may thwart the deployment of broadband Internet infrastructure. Other CompTIA agenda items are the freeing up of "white space" spectrum for broadband and wireless Internet uses, and providing for the smooth transition from analog to digital television.

CompTIAs goals for improving the uptake of HIT (Health IT) in 2007 include a $250,000 tax deduction for the purchase of HIT by small health care providers, promoting technologically neutral HIT interoperability standards across private and government health care establishments, and promoting the widespread adoption of HIT in federal and state-based agency administrations.

The group also urges policy makers to create a cleaner environment by passing a preemptive national law that uses tax incentives to promote proper computer reuse and recycling, and by dedicating more funding to federal telecommuting efforts.

To foster the viability of small U.S. IT businesses in 2007, CompTIA encourages policy makers to make permanent and expande tax deductions for small business, and create a simplified R&D tax credit for micro-businesses and a health care program that makes plans more affordable for business and individuals.

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