A major effort to deal with the nation’s Internet infrastructure failings took wing from the President’s pen recently as he issued an executive order that is supposed 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.
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. The idea behind all this is to improve services to Americans and create jobs, promote innovation, and inspire new markets for American businesses.
There could be some opportunities opening up for those who install fiber and other telecommunications equipment. I can see the estimating pencils getting sharpened already.