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Broadband Opportunity Council Seeks Comment on Ways to Further Expand and Promote Broadband Deployme

SUBJECT:       Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by
               Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging
               Investment and Training
Access to high-speed broadband is no longer a luxury; it is a
necessity for American families, businesses, and consumers.
Affordable, reliable access to high-speed broadband is critical
to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness.  High-speed
broadband enables Americans to use the Internet in new ways,
expands access to health services and education, increases the
productivity of businesses, and drives innovation throughout the
digital ecosystem.  The private sector and Federal, State, and
local governments have made substantial investments to expand
broadband access in the United States, but more must be done to
improve the availability and quality of high-speed broadband,
particularly in areas lacking competitive choices.
Today, more than 50 million Americans cannot purchase a wired
broadband connection at speeds the Federal Communications
Commission has defined as the minimum for adequate broadband
service, and only 29 percent of Americans can choose from more
than one service provider at that speed.  As a result, the
costs, benefits, and availability of high-speed broadband
Internet are not evenly distributed -- with considerable
variation among States and between urban and rural areas.
The Federal Government has an important role to play in
developing coordinated policies to promote broadband deployment
and adoption, including promoting best practices, breaking down
regulatory barriers, and encouraging further investment.  Doing
so will help deliver higher quality, lower cost broadband to
more families, businesses, and communities and allow communities
to benefit fully from those investments.
Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the
Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,
I hereby direct the following:
     Section 1.  Policy.  It shall be the policy of the Federal
Government for executive departments and agencies having
statutory authorities applicable to broadband deployment
(agencies) to use all available and appropriate authorities to:
identify and address regulatory barriers that may unduly impede
either wired broadband deployment or the infrastructure to
augment wireless broadband deployment; encourage further public
and private investment in broadband networks and services;
promote the adoption and meaningful use of broadband technology;
and otherwise encourage or support broadband deployment,
competition, and adoption in ways that promote the public
     Agencies shall pay particular attention to opportunities
to promote broadband adoption and competition through incentives
to new entrants in the market for broadband services;
modernizing regulations; accurately measuring real-time
broadband availability and speeds; and other possible measures,
including supporting State, local, and tribal governments
interested in encouraging or investing in high-speed broadband
     Agencies shall also pay particular attention to increasing
broadband access for under-served communities, including in
rural areas, and to exploring opportunities to reduce costs for
potential low-income users.
     In so doing, agencies shall ensure:  protection of existing
and planned Federal, State, local, and tribal government
missions and capabilities for delivering services to the public,
including those related to national security, public safety, and
emergency response.
     Agencies shall coordinate the activities discussed in this
section through the Broadband Opportunity Council established in
section 2 of this memorandum.
     Sec. 2.  Establishing the Broadband Opportunity Council.
(a)  There is established the Broadband Opportunity Council
(Council), to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and
Agriculture, or their designees.  In addition to the Co-Chairs,
the Council shall include the heads, or their designees, of:
  1.           (i)       the Department of Defense;
  2.           (ii)      the Department of State;
  3.           (iii)     the Department of the Interior;
  4.           (iv)      the Department of Labor;
  5.           (v)       the Department of Health and Human Services;
  6.           (vi)      the Department of Homeland Security;
  7.           (vii)     the Department of Housing and Urban
  1.           (viii)    the Department of Justice;
  2.           (ix)      the Department of Transportation;
  3.           (x)       the Department of the Treasury;
  4.           (xi)      the Department of Energy;
  5.           (xii)     the Department of Education;
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  1.           (xiii)    the Department of Veterans Affairs;
  2.           (xiv)     the Environmental Protection Agency;
  3.           (xv)      the General Services Administration;
  4.           (xvi)     the Small Business Administration;
  5.           (xvii)    the Institute of Museum and Library Services;
          (xviii)  the National Science Foundation;
  1.           (xix)     the Council on Environmental Quality;
  2.           (xx)      the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
  3.           (xxi)     the Office of Management and Budget;
  4.           (xxii)    the Council of Economic Advisers;
          (xxiii)  the Domestic Policy Council;
  1.           (xxiv)    the National Economic Council;
  2.           (xxv)     the National Security Council staff; and
  3.           (xxvi)    such other Federal agencies or entities as
          determined appropriate pursuant to subsection (c) of
          this section.
     (b)  The Council shall consult with other relevant agencies
and with the Federal Communications Commission as appropriate.
The Council shall also coordinate with existing Federal working
groups and committees involved with broadband.
     (c)  The Director of the National Economic Council and the
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall
review, on a periodic basis, the membership of the Broadband
Opportunity Council to ensure that it includes necessary Federal
Government entities and that the Council is an effective
mechanism for coordinating among agencies on the goals and
policies outlined in this memorandum.  The Director of the
National Economic Council and the Director of the Office of
Science and Technology Policy may add or remove members of the
Council, as appropriate, based on that review.
     Sec. 3.  Functions of the Broadband Opportunity Council.
(a)  As permitted by law, the agencies as members of the Council
shall consult with State, local, tribal, and territorial
governments, as well as telecommunications companies, utilities,
trade associations, philanthropic entities, policy experts, and
other interested parties to identify and assess regulatory
barriers and opportunities as outlined in section 1 of this
memorandum to determine possible actions.
     (b)  Not later than 15 days from the date of this
memorandum, each agency shall designate a representative to
serve as the main point of contact and will notify the Co-Chairs
of the Council of that designee.
     (c)  Not later than 60 days from the date of this
memorandum, agencies shall submit to the Council a comprehensive
survey of Federal programs, including the allocated funding
amounts, that currently support or could reasonably be modified
to support broadband deployment and adoption, as well as a
survey of all agency-specific policies and rules with the direct
or indirect effect of facilitating or regulating investment in
or deployment of wired and wireless broadband networks.
Spectrum allocation decisions affecting broadband deployment and
other policies related to spectrum allocation are excluded from
this survey and from the work of the Council, and shall continue
in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum of June 14, 2013
(Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation).
     (d)  Not later than 120 days from the date of this
memorandum, agencies shall submit to the Council an initial list
of actions that each of their agencies could take to identify
and address regulatory barriers, incentivize investment, promote
best practices, align funding decisions, and otherwise support
wired broadband deployment and adoption.
     (e)  Not later than 150 days from the date of this
memorandum, the Council shall report to the President, through
the Director of the National Economic Council, a coordinated
and agreed prioritized list of recommendations on actions that
agencies can take to support broadband deployment and adoption.
Such recommendations shall include a list of priority actions
and rulemakings, as well as timelines to complete them.  Before
finalizing and submitting these recommendations, the full
Council shall meet at least twice.
     Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this
memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
          (i)    the authority granted by law to a department
          or agency, or the head thereof;
          (ii)   the functions of the Director of the Office
          of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,
          administrative, or legislative proposals; or
          (iii)  the authority of the Federal Communications
          Commission concerning spectrum allocation decisions.
     (b)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed
to require the disclosure of classified information, law
enforcement sensitive information, or other information that
must be protected in the interests of national security.
     (c)  This memorandum shall not require duplicate efforts
underway in accordance with other Executive Orders and
     (d)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent
with applicable law and subject to the availability of
     (e)  Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply
with the requirements of this memorandum.
     (f)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not,
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the
United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its
officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


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