President Donald Trump has signaled that broadband will definitely be part of his planned infrastructure investments.
Trump issued an executive order Wednesday (July 19) creating The Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which will include a representative from the communications and technology sector. The council will report back to the president with its findings.
The members will be appointed by Trump and will represent the following sectors: real estate, finance, construction, communications and technology, transportation and logistics, labor, environmental policy, regional and local economic development, and "other sectors determined by the president to be of value to the council," the White House said.
The mission of the council, whose membership will be capped at 15, is to "study the scope and effectiveness of, and make findings and recommendations to the president regarding, federal government funding, support and delivery of infrastructure projects in several sectors, including surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resources, renewable energy generation, electricity transmission, broadband, pipelines and other such sectors as determined by the council."
That will include prioritizing infrastructure buildouts, speeding approval processes, coming up with ongoing financing mechanisms, identifying public-private partnerships, coming up with best practices for procurement and delivery, and promoting innovation.
The Department of Commerce will provide the administrative staff, facilities and support services for the council. The council positions will be unpaid, though private citizens will get travel expenses.