White House Also Announces 100-Partner “US Ignite” Broadband Initiative
Tomorrow, the President will sign an Executive Order to make broadband construction along Federal roadways and properties up to 90 percent 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.
"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 is also announcing that nearly 100 partners—including more than 25 cities as well as corporate and non-profit entities—will join with more than 60 national research universities to form a new public-private partnership called “US Ignite.” The US Ignite Partnership will create a new wave of services that take advantage of state-of-the-art, programmable broadband networks running up to 100 times faster than today’s Internet. By bringing software developers and engineers from government and industry together with representatives from communities, schools, hospitals, and other institutions that will benefit from faster and more agile broadband options, the partnership aims to speed up and increase the development of applications for advanced manufacturing, medical monitoring, emergency preparedness, and a host of other services. These applications will improve services to Americans and drive job creation, promote innovation, and create new markets for American businesses.
The Executive Order (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 (permits.performance.gov). 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.
Today, more and more of the Nation’s broadband infrastructure is capable of moving huge amounts of information quickly and in novel, programmable ways, but software developers have been unable to create applications that take full advantage of this new capacity—in part because potential user communities such as factories and hospitals have lacked the means to coordinate their needs with developers capabilities. The new US Ignite Partnership (www.us-ignite.org) will create a national network of communities and campuses with ultra-fast, programmable broadband services, operating at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. This network will become a test-bed for designing and deploying next-generation applications to support national priorities areas such as education, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing. US Ignite will challenge students, startups, and industry leaders to create a new generation of applications and services that meet the needs of local communities while creating a broad range of job and investment opportunities. This initiative will open up countless new opportunities for households and small businesses, helping them experience the economic and community benefits of next-gen applications while demonstrating a path for other communities to join.
Among the commitments being announced today by participants in the new partnership:
Additional details on these public and private commitments, and on the participants in today’s activities, are detailed in a Fact Sheet HERE.
Building on Success
These announcements build on past successes and the President’s commitment to deploying high-speed broadband networks as a nationwide foundation for sustained economic growth and prosperity. Broadband deployment programs already underway include:
By taking full advantage of the latest broadband technologies as they evolve, the United States can continue in its role as a global leader while strengthening its economy, building new industries and creating jobs.