Networking

Trump signs executive order to boost broadband internet development in rural US

The executive order may help bring internet to previously hard to reach areas, something several ISPs have been working towards.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to help bring broadband internet to rural areas of the US.
  • Around 39% of people living in rural areas don't have access to broadband internet.

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to make it easier for internet service providers (ISPs) to bring broadband internet to rural areas of the country.

Currently, 39% of people living in rural areas don't have access to broadband. Closing the broadband gap could mean a more connected country, with more people on the internet and able to rely on internet-dependent devices.

A more connected country could have several business implications. It would open a new market for ISPs and may be easier for advertisers to reach these audiences. It could increase options for remote workers, whether they live in a rural area, traveling, or are doing field work.

SEE: Internet and Email usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

The order, signed in Nashville, TN on Monday, expedites the federal permitting process and removes other barriers, allowing ISPs hoping to operate wireless towers in these areas to deploy faster. It does not appear to offer funding for the companies.

"Those towers are going to go up, and you're going to have great, great broadband," Trump told the nearly 5,000 people present at the signing.

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will spearhead a plan to help deploy the broadband, according to a memo referenced by USA Today.

More broadband access could also help boost public safety, making it easier for first responders to connect during emergencies.

ISPs have already been working to reach these areas. In July, Microsoft invested $10 billion in efforts to bring internet to rural areas, with hopes to close the broadband gap by 2022. A few days later, AT&T and NetComm Wireless announced a plan to offer fixed-wireless broadband to hard-to-reach areas in 18 states.

Emerging technology, like 5G and fiber internet, could also make it easier to connect these areas.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/RomanKhomlyak

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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