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White House Officially Unveils US Ignite

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

As B&C/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 Wednesday, 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."