Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders | 1/10/2018 | Staff
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Analysis President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders aimed at pushing broadband internet into more remote parts of the US, capping a multi-year effort to get America online.

But the effectiveness of those actions and the speed and quality of the internet access that will result is in doubt.

Executive - Order - Requests - Broadband - Facilities

The first executive order is aimed at "streamlining and expediting requests to locate broadband facilities," and will force federal agencies to use standard forms and contracts for antennas installed on federal buildings. And the second, directed at the department of the interior, will oblige the department to make it easier for companies to install antennas and require it to report back on progress.

Both executive orders result from a report [PDF] by a task force that was asked to look at how to help out the agriculture industry and rural areas more generally. That report made a range of recommendations, many of which will take a long time to come to fruition and will require complex multi-agency and economic efforts.

White - House - Task - Force - Case

And so the White House, the task force, and those pushing the case for rural America have focused on broadband internet as the "low hanging fruit" that can be used to highlight efforts and improvements.

There are already a number of multi-billion-dollar efforts by the federal government to expand internet access to rural areas, and the Department of Commerce's telecoms wing – the NTIA – as well as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been working on the issue for some time.

Problems - Speed - Areas

However, several big problems remain, not least of which is the actual speed that rural areas can expect to receive.

The presidential orders unfortunately demonstrate the limited influence that the White House – and federal government – has when it comes to internet access. The orders amount to little more than cutting bureaucratic red tape....
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