White House Officially Unveils US Ignite

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The White House Thursday officially took the wraps of its new high-speed broadband initiative, US Ignite.

As Multichannel News reported Wednesday, US Ignite is a public-private partnership to promote high-speed broadband networks and the applications that can leverage that speed to deliver a range of services, from "advanced manufacturing, medical monitoring, emergency preparedness" to the veritable host of others.

Among the private partners is Comcast, which will help develop and test the apps, according to the White House.

"I expect that American innovators and entrepreneurs will come up with other new ideas to take advantage of the capacity of these networks to develop new, breakthrough applications," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at Thursday's official unveiling.

Also as reported on June 13, the president has signed an Executive Order making a "dig once" policy the law of the land in broadband deployment, something that was pushed legislatively in the House by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) with assists from Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), respectively.

The White House will "facilitate broadband deployment on Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal and individual Indian trust lands," including coordinating the deployment of underground fiber conduit on highway projects--the "dig once" portion of the order.

"We applaud President Obama on the announcement of new government initiatives to spur demand for high bandwidth services," said NCTA in a statement. "We also commend the efforts of Rep. Eshoo and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner for their leadership in Congress to encourage the adoption of ˜dig once' policies that will lower the costs deploying broadband infrastructure."

"Today, the president made a huge step toward ensuring that every citizen of this nation has access to quality broadband," said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "With this critical Executive Order, we usher in a time of fewer barriers to broadband infrastructure deployment on federal lands and buildings, making it easier to deploy high-speed Internet across the entire country. I am proud to support this effort, and I look forward to working side-by-side with the Administration to ensure its long-term success."

"Today's Executive Order will help bring the power of broadband to every corner of this country," added fellow Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel. "The initiatives announced today will speed deployment of broadband infrastructure through nearly 30 percent of all land in the United States and will foster the next generation of applications that will support education, healthcare, energy, and manufacturing."

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