Private sector entities that invest in new or improved broadband infrastructure would receive tax credits under legislation introduced Tuesday by ranking Senate Commerce Committee member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Titled the Connecting America Act of 2009, the bill is intended to promote economic development by encouraging companies “to make investments that they might otherwise delay due to the economic downturn.” In addition to limited duration tax credits that would run for five years, the measure would create a technology-neutral bond program that would enable communities to raise funds for broadband construction and adopt broadband technologies that are considered appropriate for their localities. The bill also calls for the establishment of an Office of National Broadband Strategy within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that would provide technical assistance to entities applying for broadband funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other governmentsponsored programs. Observing, “we must approach broadband deployment in a more thoughtful and comprehensive way in the future, and start by meaningfully engaging the investment and expertise of the private sector,” Hutchison said, “my legislation provides this framework and allows local communities to play a bigger role in determining the technology and infrastructure that best suits their needs.”