CSAC Bulletin Article

White House Releases American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report

February 14, 2019

The White House recently released the American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report, providing a roadmap for how the federal government can increase rural broadband access and highlighting actions that federal agencies are taking to promote private-sector investment in broadband infrastructure.

The report’s recommendations are grouped into three categories:

  1. Streamlining federal permitting processes to speed broadband deployment,
  2. Leveraging federal assets to lower the cost of broadband buildouts, and
  3. Maximizing the impact of federal funding.

Of note, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to deploy a new congressional appropriation of $600 million for an innovative broadband pilot program focused in rural areas. The Initiative also highlights the leveraging of federal assets, such as tower facilities, buildings, and land, to be made available in the deployment broadband infrastructure.

Counties are particularly vested in this initiative, as broadband internet drives economic development opportunities, supports county service delivery, and improves health, education, and public safety outcomes for all residents. Additionally, it’s encouraging to see the Administration’s commitment to working with state, local, and tribal governments, private-sector companies, civic leaders, and broadband stakeholders to close America’s digital divide and improve rural quality of life.

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