October 26, 2007

Jeff Perlman, Executive Vice President – Government Affairs
Clark Rector Jr., Senior Vice President – State Government Affairs
Robert Kohlmeyer, Coordinator – Government Affairs

Senate Approves Internet Services Tax Moratorium

The Senate has approved a bill that would prohibit state and local governments from imposing taxes on Internet services such as access fees for an additional seven years. Like the House version approved last week, S. 1453, introduced by Sens. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., modifies the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 that has been extended twice before. However, the House bill extends the moratorium only four years. The two chambers must resolve the differences in the bill before it is sent to the White House for the president's signature. The current moratorium expires on November 1.
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FTC Announces Do Not Call Registry Extension

Lydia Parnes, director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, announced that her agency will not automatically remove phone numbers from the National Do Not Call Registry while Congress decides if it will modify the expiration rules for the list. Parnes appeared before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection hearing on H.R. 2601, introduced by Rep. Clifford Sterns, R-Fla., which would automatically renew telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry through 2012. Two additional bills, H.R. 3541 and S. 2096, would make Do Not Call registrations permanent. The registry became law in 2003, meaning that the first people who signed up would have been removed from the list in 2008.
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Sen. Kohl Introduces Bill Designed to Create Digital TV Transition Task Force

Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., introduced a bill that would create a task force to help guide the switch from analog to digital broadcast television, as well as mandate public service announcements educating consumers about the availability of digital-to-analog converter boxes. Kohl has chided the government and industry's efforts to inform the public, especially senior citizens. The task force would include representatives from the Federal Communications Commission, the Administration on Aging, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and other government and industry groups. S. 2125 was referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
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