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President Issues Executive Order for Broadband Deployment

06.14.2012 – President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order “Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment.”  The order highlights that access to broadband is essential to the United States’ “global competitiveness in the 21st century” and has the potential to promote job creation and innovation while increasing interoperability for public safety officials.  Many areas lack adequate access to broadband; however the order states that broadband deployment within federal properties including federal lands, buildings and rights of way; federally assisted highways; and tribal lands, has the potential to facilitate expansion of broadband infrastructure. The order establishes a working group composed of representatives from many federal departments including Defense, the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and the Postal Service, as well as representatives from various federal agencies including the FCC.  The working group is tasked to “develop and implement a strategy to facilitate the timely and efficient deployment of broadband facilities” on federal properties.  In addition, the working group will ensure that information regarding accessing federal properties for use of broadband deployment is available and that there is a uniform process by which nongovernment entities can access federal properties for use of broadband deployment.  Finally, the order highlights that installing “underground fiber conduit along highway and roadway rights of way…can reduce the cost of future broadband deployment.”  Accordingly, the order directs the Department of Transportation to review “dig once requirements” and work with state and local governments to develop best practices in this regard. [Source: The White House]

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.