Government affairs leaders at Washington-based technology companies discussed policy issues they expect the Biden administration to address once it takes office and one of those is the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it applies to broadband internet access and workforce, GeekWire reported Tuesday.
“Even as we grapple with the continuing COVID-19 health crisis, we also need to focus on how we can work together to drive an inclusive economic recovery,“ said Fred Humphries, corporate vice president of U.S. government affairs at Microsoft. “Ensuring people have access to the skills they need for the jobs that are being created and addressing the broadband gap will both be key to achieving this recovery.“
Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for Amazon, said he considers broadband access as a key issue.
Tech policy leaders said they want the incoming administration to work with the industry to address the climate crisis.
“COVID-19 was an issue of the year; the climate crisis is the urgent issue of the decade,“ Humphries said. “Avoiding a climate catastrophe will take aggressive approaches, new technology that doesn't exist today, and innovative public policy.“
“Climate change is serious and action is needed from public and private sectors,“ Huseman said. “We've pledged to be net carbon zero by 2040 and will push for more ambitious federal climate policy while we work with government partners on climate solutions.“
Another issue facing the tech industry is the possible imposition of taxes on online advertising and digital services and Scott Peterson, director of government affairs at tax automation company Avalara, shared his thoughts on the issue.