Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross joined with other Federal agencies to announce a cohesive, across-government, strategy to promote broadband deployment. This work fulfills the President’s call to use all possible policy tools to accelerate the deployment and adoption of reliable high-speed broadband connectivity in all parts of America. The report released by the White House today outlines the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), an effort that includes streamlining the Federal permitting process, leveraging Federal assets to lower the cost of build-outs and maximizing the impact of Federal funding.
“Broadband is an essential part of America’s communications infrastructure, and an important component of our economic policy,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The American Broadband Initiative will help government and industry target resources in the most efficient manner so all Americans can fully participate in advanced communications technologies.”
“A huge team effort across more than 20 agencies has gone into creating this report, and we look forward to delivering on this commitment to improve broadband deployment,” said David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
The ABI, announced during a Commerce Department meeting with state broadband leaders, coincides with the Department’s work to update the national broadband map and make it easier to identify which parts of the country lack connectivity.
The ABI creates a vision for how the Federal government can increase broadband access:
- The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will create a one-stop shop for broadband permitting information on its BroadbandUSAwebsite.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to deploy a new $600 million broadband pilot program making investments in projects that deploy infrastructure in rural areas lacking connectivity.
- The U.S. Department of Interior has created a map that inventories over 7,000 tower locations on federal properties, which will help service providers looking locate equipment as they expand wireless and wireline broadband networks.
- The General Services Administration (GSA) has solicited input from the public on priority markets and assets needed to expand mobile access in underserved markets, and will work with Federal agencies to streamline commercial access to these markets. GSA will also revise the common application for permit requests, and work to increase timeliness of processing the forms.
Click HERE to read the report.