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Study looks at telecom's regulatory landscape

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today launched a new study to analyze different regulatory changes in the telecom sector that could boost investment, innovation and jobs as well as stimulate economic growth.

“The telecom sector is important to nearly every part of the American economy and renewed vitality there will support stronger economic growth across the board,” said Thomas Donohue, president of the business organization. “New investment in telecom services and equipment-computers, connections and new infrastructure-will go a long way to addressing the lagging job numbers in an otherwise healthy economy.”

The study-being conducted by Coleman Bazelon of Analysis Group and assisted by Tom Hazlett of the Manhattan Institute and John Rutledge of Rutledge Capital Research-will describe the significant regulatory uncertainty in the industry, identify constraints on investment, provide economic modeling, and offer proposals to improve the system.

More than 25 percent of the non-farm jobs lost in the U.S. over the last few years were in the telecom services and equipment sector, even though the sector employs only 1 percent of all non-farm workers, according to industry estimates. Since January 2001, the total market value of all publicly traded U.S. companies has declined by $1.7 trillion, with nearly half ($839 billion) of the losses occurring in the telecom sector.

“American businesses need to operate in a marketplace where there is regulatory certainty,” said Donohue. “This study will identify areas where the government can and should establish a regulatory structure that will withstand court challenges.”

The chamber also announced it would host a policy summit this fall, once the study is completed, to bring together key decision makers to discuss the study’s recommendations.

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