Obama signs executive order to ease U.S. broadband construction along federal roadways and properties

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) has announced that two of his proposals to promote more rapid and cost-effective expansion of broadband networks will be advanced through an executive order to be signed by the president. The executive order, which is to be signed on Thursday, June 14, 2012, could make broadband construction along federal roads and within federally-owned buildings significantly more affordable and efficient.

Currently, the procedures for approving broadband infrastructure projects on properties controlled or managed by the federal government—including large tracts of land, roads and thousands of buildings across the nation—vary depending on which agency manages the property. This 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 to speed the delivery of connectivity to communities, businesses, and schools.

“This executive order will help bring broadband to underserved communities across Virginia and the nation while saving both money and time with limited federal investment,” Sen. Warner said in the press release. “These are commonsense ideas, and I’m pleased the administration is moving forward with this initiative.”

“Building a nationwide broadband network will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work,” said President Obama in the press release. “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.”

The first Warner proposal, first advanced through legislation introduced with Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), authorizes the installation of small wireless base stations in all publicly accessible federal buildings in order to increase wireless coverage and free up essential commercial network capacity. Once enacted through the Executive Order, this initiative should help prevent dropped calls that can occur indoors and in rural areas due to poor cell phone coverage, while at the same time improving overall wireless network capacity by more effectively utilizing broadband wireless networks.

The second Warner proposal, first proposed through “dig once” legislation introduced with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), directs federal agencies to help carriers time their broadband deployment activities to periods when roads are already under construction. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 90 percent of the cost of deploying broadband comes from the cost of digging up and then repairing the road. This means it is 10 times more expensive to add broadband after a road is already built than to install broadband “conduits” in the first place to house the tiny fiber-optic cables that carry high-speed, high-capacity communications.

Source: warner.senate.gov

33 Comments

    1. I’m no fan of Obama, but he has been a very business friendly President despite the political catcalls and campaign rhetoric of the Republicans.

      The reorganization of GM and Chrysler basically broke the United Auto Workers with a two-teir wage system and roll backs of previously agreed to work rules. The same changes are being extended to Ford who did not take a bailout.

      The only reason they howl is because he refuses to kowtow to the US Chamber of Commerce.

      1. “very business friendly”? Are you serious? That’s got to be a joke, right? Propaganda comments like this are going to be littering websites through Nov. from people who are supposedly “not an Obama supporter.” For more confirmation, see a few posts below this from ConfusedCountry.

        1. Hey, don’t put words in my mouth. Obama happens to be my second choice after Ron Paul and (I wish) Jesse Ventura, but that will not likely happen, so all things considered Obama has done a lot for business.

          Isn’t he blamed for bailing out the banks and auto industry by the Republicans, then he is blamed for not being business friendly.

          Send me some links of something he has done that has been bad for business. If you can’t do that, then you are just acting like a Parrot and “quacking” the party line without any evidence to back up your “beliefs”.

          Think for yourself. Attach some links of all the companies that have been damaged by Obama!

          1. There is not a chance in the world that you are both a Ron Paul supporter and also think Obama has done anything positive for businesses. Bailing out the auto industry (unions) with the tax money from those who are actually making money is not business friendly! Adding a list of the companies damaged by Obama would require listing every company in the US+. I’m not quacking a party line, I’m living in reality.

            1. Bailing out a business is not business friendly? Corporate welfare is not businuess friendly?

              Hahaha, oh lord. The extent to which some people will deny reality if it’s contradicted by the party narrative is depressing. Although it isn’t surprising.

              The fact that you can’t even provide an example of an Obama policy killing businesses, shouldn’t that tell you something? Nope? Head buried too far in the sand?

              Here, I’ll let you in on an open “secret” that you’ll no doubt insist isn’t true: Obama is every bit the corporate white knight that George W. Bush was.

              ‘Bama’s rhetoric panders to a different demographic than your’s, however, so that means he has to be crucified for everything he does, even when his actions align with those of his predecessor.

            2. @the ghost of reality

              my reply above was directed at @mac user 47

              I do however agree with you. Corporate Welfare is very business friendly. In fact a little too business friendly in some cases.

              How people can call Obama not business friendly when in my book he has already done too much is beyond my imagination.

              ..so once again @the ghost of reality, I am sorry if my last post seemed directed at you. It was in fact for @mac user 47

            3. Welfare is as bad for business as it is for individuals, maybe worse. It causes allocation of capital not driven by market forces. For example, if continuing to extract oil is not profitable or too risky, the capital should be allowed to flow to a potentially profitable endeavor, say solar or electric vehicles, rather than being collected from everybody in the form of taxes and given to oil companies. You do no favor to business by creating an artificial reality.

            4. @Quiviran

              In general I agree but there are no absolutes. What about businesses that were affected by the oil spill. Should “market forces” be allowed to put them out of business?

              The idea that this is “bad” and that is “good” is the problem.
              We are not dealing with the laws of physics here were laws are absolutes. In our society laws are based on Judgement and proper judgement rarely can be defined as absolutes.

              I comes down to what I mentioned before. The Auto Industry fell victim to Wall Street, through no fault of there own, and businesses in Louisiana fell victim to improper regulation on the Oil companies (BP).

              There are times for bail-outs and there are times to let companies fail. I want a President that exercises judgement. Anyone who “believes” in absolutes in either direction lacks judgement.

            5. If you folks knew the first thing about business and economics you would know that bailouts are NOT business friendly!!!!! I cannot believe you or anyone could be so GOD DAMN ignorant. It’s people like you that make we wonder why I chose to fight for my country.
              Bailing out companies through government is not only corrupt, but economic suicide. It is WRONG to allow Company A to survive by giving them free money, considering they made the financial/investment/business mistakes that got them in a mess to begin with.
              Business is about competition, not kissing the governments ass so they can hand you a bail out. Business, if you know what that is, is about making mistakes and learning from them through the natural consequences they present, and then correcting your errors and improving your position. This allows the consumer to determine at their own will who to buy services/products from and allows capitalism to bring prosperity. It brings about competition, better prices, better services, and better lifestyle to those WHO EARN IT!!!
              If the government steps in, like they have, you create an artificial economy. You corrupt the system, in our country you violate the rules set forth by our Constitution(Which I swore to support and defend against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC), and you make a couple big events take place: 1. The guy that took your bailout now gets to stay afloat and experience a period of strength that IT DID NOT DESERVE. 2. The companies that were making the right moves, following the rules, growing, and SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE LATTERS PLACE now is stuck, having missed their chance to have their big break, and as a result may or may not ever see this opportunity again. 3. Since the Federal Reserve had to print a retarded amount of money to supply the bailout (money we didn’t have), this move has devalued our currency even more than it already was, has created an artificial sense of security among the ignorant masses, created an artificial economy among the bailed out industries, and simply put off and compounded the effects of the inevitable economic collapse. Oh yeah, and it has created a socialist economic policy the has only put another nail in the coffin.
              What kind of pervert and ignorant… I’m not even gonna say it… would think that this is “business friendly?” Not a single intelligent economist has applauded this move. Not a single intelligent and non corrupt business owner has applauded this move. On the contrary, the VAST MAJORITY of both of these groups of people have condemned this action as illegal, unconstitutional, and economically unhealthy.
              Please, if you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about or haven’t done research, other than the BS you see/read/hear in the mainstream media, then don’t attempt to act like you know what you are talking about. You are not qualified to have the conversation, so don’t waste everyone’s time. Do the research, then come back. Listen to both sides of the spectrum and draw your own conclusions using what little common sense you may have. I don’t this to insult, I say this acknowledging that the majority of Americans have given up that sacred gift along with the majority of their civil liberties.
              BTW, you cannot say that you support Ron Paul and like what Obama has done and still expect ANYONE to believe what you have to say. One is a constitutional idealist (such as myself), and the other (while he may be a great person inside) is a corrupt, lying, socialist, fascist politician with a bad record in terms of being consistent. I am disgusted to have ever served under his command.
              If you don’t think I’m right, look at his executive orders, the bills he’s signed into law, and the bail outs and show me proof of where it states that he or any member of government for that matter, is authorized to do what they have done. Wake the Hell up people. I am only 21, but I choose to not be ignorant. I hate being wrong, so I do stupid amounts of research to ensure that I am rarely so.

            6. Once again words in my mouth. It is very possible to be a Ron Paul supporter and an Obama supporter. I mostly agree with Ron Paul’s libertarian ideology of no bail-outs. I agreed with Obama on the Auto Bailout. The auto industry was just collateral damage because of what Wall Street had done to the economy. I know, I worked for a Hedge fund at the time doing Mortgage backed securities.

              I however disagreed with Obama on the Wall Street Bailout.
              All the companies that created the problem (included the one I worked for) should have been disassembled and all the accounts turned over to more responsible companies by allowing the “private” sector to bid on the accounts.

              I also disagree with Ron Paul (even though he is a doctor) and agree with Obama on a public option.

              Although it is hard for you to imagine liking ideas from multiple people because you are obviously a Republican and like everything that comes from that side, I am a true Independent. I pick in chose what I believe based on what I see, and trust me, I have spend the majority of my career as a programmer on Wall Street. I’ve seen enough to know they shouldn’t have been bailed out.

              So there you have it. I agreed with Obama on the Auto Bail-out because the problems they faced weren’t there fault, and I agreed with Ron Paul, that Wall street should have been hung out to dry.

              I am in fact both an Obama supporter AND a Ron Paul supporter. — yet I haven’t found a single reason to trust Romney. He is the biggest liar in Politics and how Republicans could have picked him over Ron Paul tells me how delusional most Republicans must be.

              Ron Paul is the guy who embodies most of the Republican beliefs. It seems to me that most Republicans are so busy quacking party line that they vote against there own interests.

              …in conclusion, given an opportunity to vote the way I want
              1) Ron Paul
              2) Obama
              ..
              100) Mitt Romney

            7. I will say, what you have to say on the subject of Ron Paul and Obama, I can see what you mean by being able to side with both. But, nothing in the constitution grants our government the right to step in and manipulate the economy. The most they could do legally was print money, but not pick and choose who got it, and they signed that right away to the Federal Reserve Bank that isn’t even a government institution.

            8. The auto bailout was not business friendly? Right…

              Because the collapse of most of the U.S. auto industry and tens of thousands of lost jobs would not have had a terrible cascade effect on their component suppliers and employees, or the various businesses formerly patronized by all of these newly jobless. All of this would have fallen on top of an economic system reeling from overwhelming greed and stupidity on the part of the banking/investment system.

              Don’t get me wrong – I strongly disliked the auto bailouts. Often, however, the rational solution is wiser than the emotionally satisfying one.

              Obama, like every other President in history, has made some choices that were not blindly “pro business.” For instance, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending drilling in the Gulf. But since when was every decision subject to a thumbs up/down assessment simply on the basis of being or not being “pro business”?

              Most decisions involve compromises. My concern is that some groups are willing to make rapid decisions based primarily on emotion and preordained “truths” with insufficient discussion or rationale. If that description fits you (and your overinflated certainty indicates that might be the case), then I am likely in opposition to many of your positions. That is not a big surprise.

        2. It’s not propaganda. I didn’t vote for him and will not be come November.
          Why is it Americans seem to want to put everyone in a binary world?

      2. “Give us two more years and if it doesn’t work, you have another election in just two years. You can vote us Democrats all out then.” William Jefferson Clinton, 2010

  1. Anything that reduces red tape in a safe manner and cuts costs while speeding improvements is a good thing. If this ends up being that – fingers crossed – I’m all for it, even if I’m not a big fan of executive orders.

    Why couldn’t congress move this along expeditiously themselves? What’s the problem that required an executive order? I’d rather the people’s representatives in the Senate and the House make the laws. The president is supposed to be part of the executive, not the legislative branch. That was done for a reason.

    (Here’s an example of why executive orders are not a great idea: Executive Order 9066)

      1. I’m no fan of the President, but I think he has accomplished many good things and has turned the country into the right direction. I directly benefit from “ObamaCare” because my daughter would have been kicked out of my medical plan if not for the new law. I also like the “no pre-existing condition exclusion for minors”, even if it’s communist!

        Whether by executive order or not, the Broadband deal is a good idea, and so was the auto-company bailout.

        I guess I should start parroting the Republic party slogan now — “Obama is anti-business”–“…and a communist”.

    1. So, if the President is the CEO of the Executive Branch, why is it a bad thing for him to do his job? Congress has no business reinventing the wheel if it isn’t needed. Besides, as negative as the republicans have been about ANYTHING Obama touches (even if they are republican suggested ideas at first) it would be a miracle if they didn’t just kill it or add some totally unrelated bs to it.

      There are plenty of times where an Executive Order is appropriate. It is one tool the President has to control his Branch of government.

    2. I think this went down mostly the right way – the Executive got something necessary accomplished, that wouldn’t get past the debate stage if handled by the Legislative branch. That’s more or less how it’s supposed to work, with one exception: Congress is supposed to move slowly, but at the moment they are at a stand still, unable to get anything accomplished.

      Pure democracy doesn’t work well because it is way too slow – it’s difficult accomplish anything when everyone gets to have their say. Authoritative leadership gets things done quickly, but too easily it becomes self-serving and corrupt. Good government has to be a balance between both democracy and authoritative leadership – a system that can get things accomplished, but with checks and balances to prevent corruption.

      Executive orders like this seem like the best we can hope for until Congress starts to function again.

  2. While this is nothing but a good thing, I doubt it will have any impact. The federal government cannot cut red tape and reduce bureaucratic procedures, even when the President or Congress tells the agencies to do it. It is not in their genes.

    Here is a rule of thumb to remember, federal regulations and procedures only get more complex, never simpler. And they are never, ever, ever abolished, unless something even more complex replaces the abolished regulation.

    A sad fact, but true.

    1. Huh?

      All we know is that this is a good move by the prez and it will help industry grow by eliminating some regulations. Federal regulations supersede state and local regulations and a Federal regulation that says “build it” will override a lower level hurdle.

      1. I agree. I don’t believe that just because the Feds do something it is bad or will be done wrong. I can’t understand why so many people “believe” in the infallibility of the private sector. It seems like the biggest failures of all time came from the private sector. 1929 stock crash, Enron, World Com, the entire dot.com bust, the whole mortgage meltdown, etc.

        Except for the Iraq war, all Federal screw ups pale in comparison to that of the private sector.

        …and PS, my Mom and Dad are on Medicare and they seem to have better medical care than I do with my “Private Sector” medical insurance.

        Why do people believe government is always bad? It is made up of the same people as the rest of the population, and everyone hired into the government came from the same schools as everybody else.

        Years ago I worked for the Phone company (before the government broke them up) which was a “regulated” monopoly. Looking back, I thought they were the best run company I had ever worked for. To this date, no private sector job has ever been more efficient.

        The Phone company made long-term plans that were carefully carried out, all the private sector companies do the stupidest things to satisfy a quarterly stock report.

        …and you call the Feds inefficient ? Give me a break, look around. I can’t wait to get onto Medicare and get out of this stupid private sector insurance pool.

        I don’t like ObamaCare, but only because it didn’t go far enough, I think a public option would be great. If it’s good you can use it, if you hate Federal “anything” you can pay your insurance company. What is wrong with that?

        Our Military is run by the Feds. Are they all incompetent too?

        This whole Federal vs Private debate is getting stupid. Some things are better run by the private sector and some things should be Government.

        Do you want private militias too? Maybe Apple can Invade Microsoft 😉

        1. Oh, Confused, you throw up so many easy targets. But I’m not taking the bait.

          I stand by my original statement. Federal, and actually all regulations, never get simpler. When a problem develops in these regulations the solution is always to pass more regulations to patch up the problem. Then these new rules have further unanticipated consequences which make matters even worse.

          Furthermore, even if my some chance this Executive Order could be effective in promoting broadband, the bureaucracy is just too big to make it work. This is true of all big organizations and is not limited to government. Whether it be Obama or Meg Whitman at HP, just because the person on top proclaims some wonderfulness, doesn’t mean the guys at the bottom who implement this stuff will actually change what they do.

          1. @84 Mac Guy

            I guarantee that there will be incompetence at many levels of this “broadband” implementation–but as you said, that would be true whether it was done by Obama or Meg Whitman, and that is why I am not willing to say everything the government does is bad. One of the best companies I every worked for was the Phone company (in the old days). It was a regulated monopoly and planned everything long term because it was regulated and no short-term incentive.

            One of the worst companies I ever worked for was a Hedge Fund dealing in Mortgage backed securities. We all know how that turned out!

            The Post Office I believe is well run. Where else could you mail something anywhere in the country for about 50 cents,
            where as most Motor Vehicles Departments are run by morons.

            So which side is most incompetent Government or Business?

            I think it is stupid to try to compare them. They are made up of the same American population, and in the end are about the same. Lets stop pretending Government hire people with blue skin and the private sector hires people with red skin! We are all the same and we are all equally stupid.

  3. If you folks knew the first thing about business and economics you would know that bailouts are NOT business friendly!!!!! I cannot believe you or anyone could be so GOD DAMN ignorant. It’s people like you that make we wonder why I chose to fight for my country.
    Bailing out companies through government is not only corrupt, but economic suicide. It is WRONG to allow Company A to survive by giving them free money, considering they made the financial/investment/business mistakes that got them in a mess to begin with.
    Business is about competition, not kissing the governments ass so they can hand you a bail out. Business, if you know what that is, is about making mistakes and learning from them through the natural consequences they present, and then correcting your errors and improving your position. This allows the consumer to determine at their own will who to buy services/products from and allows capitalism to bring prosperity. It brings about competition, better prices, better services, and better lifestyle to those WHO EARN IT!!!
    If the government steps in, like they have, you create an artificial economy. You corrupt the system, in our country you violate the rules set forth by our Constitution(Which I swore to support and defend against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC), and you make a couple big events take place: 1. The guy that took your bailout now gets to stay afloat and experience a period of strength that IT DID NOT DESERVE. 2. The companies that were making the right moves, following the rules, growing, and SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE LATTERS PLACE now is stuck, having missed their chance to have their big break, and as a result may or may not ever see this opportunity again. 3. Since the Federal Reserve had to print a retarded amount of money to supply the bailout (money we didn’t have), this move has devalued our currency even more than it already was, has created an artificial sense of security among the ignorant masses, created an artificial economy among the bailed out industries, and simply put off and compounded the effects of the inevitable economic collapse. Oh yeah, and it has created a socialist economic policy the has only put another nail in the coffin.
    What kind of pervert and ignorant… I’m not even gonna say it… would think that this is “business friendly?” Not a single intelligent economist has applauded this move. Not a single intelligent and non corrupt business owner has applauded this move. On the contrary, the VAST MAJORITY of both of these groups of people have condemned this action as illegal, unconstitutional, and economically unhealthy.
    Please, if you haven’t got a clue what you are talking about or haven’t done research, other than the BS you see/read/hear in the mainstream media, then don’t attempt to act like you know what you are talking about. You are not qualified to have the conversation, so don’t waste everyone’s time. Do the research, then come back. Listen to both sides of the spectrum and draw your own conclusions using what little common sense you may have. I don’t this to insult, I say this acknowledging that the majority of Americans have given up that sacred gift along with the majority of their civil liberties.
    BTW, you cannot say that you support Ron Paul and like what Obama has done and still expect ANYONE to believe what you have to say. One is a constitutional idealist (such as myself), and the other (while he may be a great person inside) is a corrupt, lying, socialist, fascist politician with a bad record in terms of being consistent. I am disgusted to have ever served under his command.
    If you don’t think I’m right, look at his executive orders, the bills he’s signed into law, and the bail outs and show me proof of where it states that he or any member of government for that matter, is authorized to do what they have done. Wake the Hell up people. I am only 21, but I choose to not be ignorant. I hate being wrong, so I do stupid amounts of research to ensure that I am rarely so.

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