Washington (June 20, 2002) -- The technology industry is praising President George W. Bush's pledge to work for the rapid development and deployment of broadband technologies – which could figure significantly in the future development of products for the tax and accounting market..

"This country must be aggressive about the expansion of broadband," Bush said last week in a speech to about 100 technology industry executives. He noted that Internet-based communications are "an important part of life and its time for us to move with an agenda." The remarks represent the administration’s first public pledge to develop broadband, although the president did not provide specifics.

"President Bush's involvement in this issue will bring new energy and visibility to a key priority of our industry," said Robert Borchardt, chairman of the Arlington, Va.-based Electronic Industries Alliance, which has 2,300 member companies. "Our industry plays a critical role in the recovery of the U.S. economy, and today was a good session for both the industry and the administration to determine what next steps we can take to continue our economic recovery."

Technology companies focused on the accounting industry were not present at Bush's speech, but many accounting, tax preparation and practice management software developers have in the past cited broadband as a key issue for their companies and for the advancement of electronic commerce.

"Realistically, widespread adoption of Web applications will not occur until the broadband infrastructure gets built out a little more," James F. Reeves, CPA, a senior vice president with Practitioners Publishing Co. of Fort Worth, Texas, said in the Top 100 Products report in Accounting Today (Dec. 17. 2001 - Jan. 6). "As broadband becomes more and more ubiquitous, more Web applications will be embraced in the accounting community."

-- John M. Covaleski

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