January 3, 2007 By News Report
The Need for Federal Legislation and Regulation Prohibiting Telecommunications and Information Services Discrimination explores the need to adopt legislative and regulatory safeguards to guarantee equal access by people with disabilities to evolving high-speed broadband, wireless and Internet-based technologies.
Market forces will not be sufficient to ensure such access, said NCD in a release. Rather, Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies will need to step up to ensure that these communications technologies remain accessible to and usable by all Americans with disabilities.
"Our nation already has in place a string of federal laws and regulations designed to guarantee various levels of access to telecommunications products and services," said NCD Chairperson John R. Vaughn. "But in addition to leaving gaps in coverage, these statutes are rapidly becoming outdated because the analog technologies upon which they were premised are being substituted with technologies that are digitally and Internet-based. As Congress, the FCC and other agencies take on the daunting task of defining regulatory measures that will govern the deployment of these next-generation communication technologies, they should include safeguards to ensure that people with disabilities will not be left behind."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.