President Obama recently issued an order urging government agencies to make their websites play nice with smartphones and tablets, and now he's turning his attention to the cost of rolling out broadband in the US. The President will be signing an executive order tomorrow, June 14th, that will mandate multiple federal agencies — including the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Transportation, and the US Postal Service — to give broadband service providers a single, unified way to lease federal assets when building out their networks. The order will cover large swatches of federal land, roadways, and more than 10,000 buildings. Available assets will be made available on a given Department's site, and all regional broadband projects will be trackable on permits.performance.gov. The White House is touting the project as a boon for internet adoption and — unsurprisingly in an election year — a means to create jobs by spurring additional network build-out.
The White House is also announcing a new program called US Ignite. It's essentially a partnership between the private and public sector, aimed at developing uses and applications for tomorrow's broadband networks. Under US Ignite, 100 partners, including the likes of Cisco, HP, and NEC, will be partnering with 60 research universities. A new one gigabit per second network will connect the universities with communities around the country in order to create new services aimed at the medical and manufacturing fields, as well as emergency readiness applications. The National Science Foundation and Mozilla Foundation are joining forces for Ignite as well, and will be announcing a $500,000 design competition to encourage development for the next-gen broadband network.