President Barack Obama will sign an Executive Order (EO) to make broadband construction along Federal roadways and properties up to 90 per cent cheaper and more efficient. Currently, the procedures for approving broadband infrastructure projects on properties controlled or managed by the Federal Government—including large tracts of land, roadways, and more than 10,000 buildings across the nation—vary depending on which agency manages the property. The new Executive Order will ensure that agencies charged with managing federal properties and roads take specific steps to adopt a uniform approach for allowing broadband carriers to build networks on and through those assets and speed the delivery of connectivity to communities, businesses, and schools.
The EO will require the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs as well as the US Postal Service to offer carriers a single approach to leasing Federal assets for broadband deployment. The EO also requires that available Federal assets and the requirements for leasing be provided on departmental websites, and it will require public tracking of regional broadband deployment projects via the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard. In addition, the Executive Order will direct departments to help carriers time their broadband deployment activities to periods when streets are already under construction—an approach that can reduce network deployment costs along Federal roadways by up to 90 percent.
[Image Courtesy: Pete Souza, White House]