President Obama signed an executive order this week giving federal agencies the green light to proceed with construction of broadband on and through federal properties to help reduce the cost and increase the speed of its deployment across the country.
The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, the Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the US Postal Service have been instructed to offer broadband carriers one approach to leasing federal properties for broadband expansion.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack tells Brownfield Ag News, “You know, we’re not waiting for Congress to give us the authority. We’re using existing authorities as best we can to expand this very important 21st century tool.”
Vilsack tells Brownfield broadband is a crucial tool for agriculture and rural America.
“Part of the strategy of rebuilding the rural economy is to make sure that as we’re producing these products we’re able to market them,” says Vilsack, “Not just to ourselves locally but regionally and globally. To do that you need telecommunications equipment that’s up to date and up to speed. And, that’s why it’s important to expand broadband access in rural areas. We have over 300 projects at USDA that we are currently working on.”
The president’s executive order establishes a Broadband Deployment on Federal Property Working Group with a representative from the USDA and the other agencies to report back with recommendations in one year.
© Copyright 2012 Brownfield, All rights Reserved. Written For: Brownfield