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Obama to sign broadband executive order

President Barack Obama on Thursday will sign an executive order to make broadband construction along federal roadways and properties up to 90 percent cheaper and more efficient.

The executive order will require the Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs departments as well as the U.S. Postal Service to offer carriers a single approach to leasing federal assets for broadband deployment.

The order 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 on the Federal Infrastructure Projects website. (Link below).

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.

The White House described the order as part of its campaign of “We can’t wait” executive actions that Obama is taking while Congress has a hard time passing laws.

The White House noted that USDA’s Rural Utilities Service is on target to complete more than $3 billion in Recovery Act investments to connect rural communities to high-speed broadband networks.