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White House vows to make it 90 per cent cheaper to build broadband infrastructure

14 Jun 2012
US President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that aims to make broadband internet service faster and more affordable for US consumers.

Falling in line with similar efforts in the UK, President Obama plans to make the internet cheaper and more efficient. The president's latest executive order calls for federal agencies to adopt uniform procedures for approving broadband communications projects on properties controlled by the US government.

If successful, the new procedures would make it easier for broadband companies to build on federal land and increase internet speeds nationally. According to the White House, it could be up to 90 per cent cheaper for telecom firms to instal infrastructure under the plans.

Federal agencies will also be obligated to team up with the private sector to implement programmes that will take advantage of the speedier infrastructure.

"Building a nationwide broadband network will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work," said 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."

President Obama's order will require the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the US Postal Service to offer broadband carriers a streamlined approach to leasing Federal property.

The new procedures will also make federal departments assist carriers in co-ordinating their infrastructure development with periods when streets will already be under construction.

Obama also revealed the deployment of the new US Ignite Partnership between the private and public sector. The new partnership aims to build a nationwide network of ultra-fast broadband services operating at speeds of up to 1Gbit/s.

Ignite Partnership's new broadband network will be used as a testing ground for designing and implementing new applications that take advantage of increasing internet speeds.

Companies like Verizon will be introducing ultra-fast broadband pilot cities on their network as part of Ignite Partnerships. Mozilla and the Department of Energy are also hosting a software design competition which will reward designers who make software that takes advantage of increased broadband speeds.

Both the Ignite Partnership and new leasing procedures go in line with similar broadband developments in the UK. In the UK 10 cities were recently provided with funding to construct super-fast broadband infrastructure. The UK government also vowed that 90 per cent of the UK population would have broadband services capable of 25Mbit/s broadband speeds by 2015.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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