President Obama to Sign Executive Order to Accelerate Broadband Construction

The White House announced this morning that President Obama will sign an Executive Order tomorrow that makes building out broadband in the United States faster and cheaper as it relates to Federal land and highways. The White House also announced the US Ignite broadband initiative with the help of one-hundred "partners."

The Executive Order will make broadband construction along Federal roadways and properties up to "90 percent cheaper and more efficient." Basically the Executive Order will make it easier for telecom companies to build out broadband infrastructure by removing some of the red tape and reducing the cost associated with working along federally controlled land and highways. The Executive Order (EO) requires the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the US Postal Service to offer carriers a single approach to leasing Federal assets for broadband deployment.

Further, agencies in charge of managing Federal properties and roads will be forced to take specific steps to adopt a uniform approach to allowing broadband carriers. The goal is to accelerate "connectivity to communities, businesses, and schools."

"Building a nationwide broadband network will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work," said President Obama. "By connecting every corner of our country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students become more informed and our citizens become more engaged."

The White House also announced that it has partnered with 100 companies, non-profits, municipalities (including more than 25 cities) and 60 national research universities to form a new public-private partnership called US Ignite. The goal of the US Ignite Partnership is to create new services that take "advantage of state-of-the-art, programmable broadband networks running up to 100 times faster than today’s Internet."

US Ignite partners include Cisco, Juniper, NEC, Hewlett-Packard, Verizon, Comcast, Mott Foundation, the National Science Foundation (they are committing $20 million to prototype and deploy new technologies to advance the development of ultra-high-speed broadband networks), NSF, Mozilla Foundation, the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, Department of Defense, HHS’s Beacon Community Program, and many others.

Image source: Walter G Arce /

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