UPDATE Kudos continue to pour in for President Trump’s signing of two executive orders to streamline and expedite rural broadband deployment. The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) applauded the move, saying the orders are expected to facilitate the future building of tower facilities and related-infrastructure necessary for rural broadband.
NATE thanked the President and his administration for taking a “proactive approach,” stated Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “NATE member companies are on the front lines making connectivity possible in all corners of the United States and stand ready to go to work to deploy and maintain new communications infrastructure in rural areas.”
The Wireless Infrastructure Association, too, praised the action. “By streamlining the permitting process for siting wireless infrastructure, the federal government is reducing barriers to the deployment of the wireless networks that will deliver real economic benefits to rural communities,” stated WIA President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein.
“New timelines and reporting requirements will add accountability to an otherwise opaque process of siting wireless infrastructure on federal property,” Adelstein said, adding that WIA is encouraged the president directed the General Services Administration to review its application forms and require that many land management agencies use them.
“There is no question federal lands are an important part of our country and providing seamless coverage in these areas is just as important as any other location, especially during times of emergencies,” stated Competitive Carriers Association President Steven Berry. “Encouraging investment in broadband infrastructure will strengthen the U.S.’ position as a global broadband leader, will help boost the economy and, most importantly, will help close the digital divide so that no American will be left behind in a connected world.”
Congressional reaction was positive as well. House Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was on-hand for the American Farm Bureau show where Trump signed the orders. Blackburn and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said: “We hear this all too frequently from our constituents – insufficient internet access leaves nearly 23 million Americans without access to telemedicine, streaming video, distance learning, and more. The executive orders signed by President Trump bring us closer to spanning the digital divide and helping all Americans fully realize the innovations made possible by broadband, no matter where they live.”
January 10, 2018