3Com lobbyists to focus on broadband, E-Rate, encryption

3Com Corp. today officially opened its government affairs office in Washington, D.C., and said it will immediately begin trying to influence legislation dealing with the deployment of advanced/broadband technologies, the Education Rate program to wire schools and libraries, and encryption.

"E-Rate funding and universal service—we're for it," said Greg Garcia, who last month was named manager of 3Com's corporate government affairs. "It's a matter of controversy, but we will find the best possible way to fund schools and libraries and make sure everyone is funded equally."

The Clinton administration conceived the E-Rate program as a way to subsidize the cost of wiring schools, especially those in poor districts. The program is funded in part by surcharges collected by telecommunications carriers.

Garcia said he sees the company's role as "influencing the process" and "educating the policy-makers" who make the laws that affect the high-tech industry. "I believe we will get the government we deserve," he said. "If we're here to educate the policy-makers...then I think we will get well-informed policy."

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