A new executive order, signed by President Donald Trump at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention, makes it easier for internet companies to build broadband towers on government buildings and land by reducing the bureaucratic red tape private companies encounter while building out infrastructure to deploy broadband services.
Too many Americans, particularly in rural areas, lack broadband internet service. Without access to this “basic tool of modern connectivity,” rural communities have a harder time increasing economic prosperity, attracting new businesses, enhancing job growth, enriching student learning, extending the reach of health care and facilitating access to the digital marketplace, according to the executive order.
“It shall therefore be the policy of the executive branch to use all viable tools to accelerate the deployment and adoption of affordable, reliable, modern high-speed broadband connectivity in rural America, including rural homes, farms, small businesses, manufacturing and production sites, tribal communities, transportation systems, and healthcare and education facilities.”
Specifically, the president has directed the General Services Administration to develop within 180 days a common form and master contract for wireless facility locations on property owned by the federal government. Additionally, all federal property managing agencies must provide a quarterly report to the GSA on the number of applications, approvals and rejections based on the newly developed common form application.