[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 119 (Wednesday, June 20, 2012)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 36903-36906]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15183]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 36903]]

                Executive Order 13616 of June 14, 2012

Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, including section 301 of title 3, United 
                States Code, and in order to facilitate broadband 
                deployment on Federal lands, buildings, and rights of 
                way, federally assisted highways, and tribal and 
                individual Indian trust lands (tribal lands), 
                particularly in underserved communities, it is hereby 
                ordered as follows:

                Section 1. Policy. Broadband access is essential to the 
                Nation's global competitiveness in the 21st century, 
                driving job creation, promoting innovation, and 
                expanding markets for American businesses. Broadband 
                access also affords public safety agencies the 
                opportunity for greater levels of effectiveness and 
                interoperability. While broadband infrastructure has 
                been deployed in a vast majority of communities across 
                the country, today too many areas still lack adequate 
                access to this crucial resource. For these areas, 
                decisions on access to Federal property and rights of 
                way can be essential to the deployment of both wired 
                and wireless broadband infrastructure. The Federal 
                Government controls nearly 30 percent of all land in 
                the United States, owns thousands of buildings, and 
                provides substantial funding for State and local 
                transportation infrastructure, creating significant 
                opportunities for executive departments and agencies 
                (agencies) to help expand broadband infrastructure.

                Sec. 2. Broadband Deployment on Federal Property 
                Working Group. (a) In order to ensure a coordinated and 
                consistent approach in implementing agency procedures, 
                requirements, and policies related to access to Federal 
                lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted 
                highways, and tribal lands to advance broadband 
                deployment, there is established a Broadband Deployment 
                on Federal Property Working Group (Working Group), to 
                be co-chaired by representatives designated by the 
                Administrator of General Services and the Secretary of 
                Homeland Security (Co-Chairs) from their respective 
                agencies, in consultation with the Director of the 
                Office of Science and Technology Policy (Director) and 
                in coordination with the Chief Performance Officer 

                (b) The Working Group shall be composed of:

(i) a representative from each of the following agencies, and the Co-
Chairs, all of which have significant ownership of, or responsibility for 
managing, Federal lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted 
highways, and tribal lands (Broadband Member Agencies):

(1) the Department of Defense;

(2) the Department of the Interior;

(3) the Department of Agriculture;

(4) the Department of Commerce;

(5) the Department of Transportation;

(6) the Department of Veterans Affairs; and

(7) the United States Postal Service;

(ii) a representative from each of the following agencies or offices, to 
provide advice and assistance:

[[Page 36904]]

(1) the Federal Communications Commission;

(2) the Council on Environmental Quality;

(3) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

(4) the National Security Staff; and

(iii) representatives from such other agencies or offices as the Co-Chairs 
may invite to participate.

                (c) Within 1 year of the date of this order, the 
                Working Group shall report to the Steering Committee on 
                Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process 
                Improvement, established pursuant to Executive Order 
                13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of 
                Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure 
                Projects), on the progress that has been made in 
                implementing the actions mandated by sections 3 through 
                5 of this order.

                Sec. 3. Coordinating Consistent and Efficient Federal 
                Broadband Procedures, Requirements, and Policies. (a) 
                Each Broadband Member Agency, following coordination 
                with other Broadband Member Agencies and interested 
                non-member agencies, shall:

(i) develop and implement a strategy to facilitate the timely and efficient 
deployment of broadband facilities on Federal lands, buildings, and rights 
of way, federally assisted highways, and tribal lands, that:

(1) ensures a consistent approach across the Federal Government that 
facilitates broadband deployment processes and decisions, including by: 
avoiding duplicative reviews; coordinating review processes; providing 
clear notice of all application and other requirements; ensuring consistent 
interpretation and application of all procedures, requirements, and 
policies; supporting decisions on deployment of broadband service to those 
living on tribal lands consistent with existing statutes, treaties, and 
trust responsibilities; and ensuring the public availability of current 
information on these matters;

(2) where beneficial and appropriate, includes procedures for coordination 
with State, local, and tribal governments, and other appropriate entities;

(3) is coordinated with appropriate external stakeholders, as determined by 
each Broadband Member Agency, prior to implementation; and

(4) is provided to the Co-Chairs within 180 days of the date of this order; 

(ii) provide comprehensive and current information on accessing Federal 
lands, buildings, and rights of way, federally assisted highways, and 
tribal lands for the deployment of broadband facilities, and develop 
strategies to increase the usefulness and accessibility of this 
information, including ensuring such information is available online and in 
a format that is compatible with appropriate Government websites, such as 
the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard created pursuant to my 
memorandum of August 31, 2011 (Speeding Infrastructure Development Through 
More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review).

                (b) The activities conducted pursuant to subsection (a) 
                of this section, particularly with respect to the 
                establishment of timelines for permitting and review 
                processes, shall be consistent with Executive Order 
                13604 and with the Federal Plan and Agency Plans to be 
                developed pursuant to that order.

                (c) The Co-Chairs, in consultation with the Director 
                and in coordination with the CPO, shall coordinate, 
                review, and monitor the development and implementation 
                of the strategies required by paragraph (a)(i) of this 

                (d) Broadband Member Agencies may limit the information 
                made available pursuant to paragraph (a)(ii) of this 
                section as appropriate to accommodate national 
                security, public safety, and privacy concerns.

                Sec. 4. Contracts, Applications, and Permits. (a) 
                Section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
                Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96) contains 
                provisions addressing access to Federal property for 
                the deployment of wireless broadband facilities, 
                including requirements that the General Services

[[Page 36905]]

                Administration (GSA) develop application forms, master 
                contracts, and fees for such access. The GSA shall 
                consult with the Working Group in developing these 
                application forms, master contracts, and fees.

                (b) To the extent not already addressed by section 
                6409, each Broadband Member Agency with responsibility 
                for managing Federal lands, buildings, or rights of way 
                (as determined by the Co-Chairs) shall, in coordination 
                with the Working Group and within 1 year of the date of 
                this order, develop and use one or more templates for 
                uniform contract, application, and permit terms to 
                facilitate nongovernment entities' use of Federal 
                property for the deployment of broadband facilities. 
                The templates shall, where appropriate, allow for 
                access by multiple broadband service providers and 
                public safety entities. To ensure a consistent approach 
                across the Federal Government and different broadband 
                technologies, the templates shall, to the extent 
                practicable and efficient, provide equal access to 
                Federal property for the deployment of wireline and 
                wireless facilities.

                Sec. 5. Deployment of Conduit for Broadband Facilities 
                in Conjunction with Federal or Federally Assisted 
                Highway Construction. (a) The installation of 
                underground fiber conduit along highway and roadway 
                rights of way can improve traffic flow and safety 
                through implementation of intelligent transportation 
                systems (ITS) and reduce the cost of future broadband 
                deployment. Accordingly, within 1 year of the date of 
                this order:

(i) the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Working 
Group, shall review dig once requirements in its existing programs and 
implement a flexible set of best practices that can accommodate changes in 
broadband technology and minimize excavations consistent with competitive 
broadband deployment;

(ii) the Department of Transportation shall work with State and local 
governments to help them develop and implement best practices on such 
matters as establishing dig once requirements, effectively using private 
investment in State ITS infrastructure, determining fair market value for 
rights of way on federally assisted highways, and reestablishing any 
highway assets disturbed by installation;

(iii) the Department of the Interior and other Broadband Member Agencies 
with responsibility for federally owned highways and rights of way on 
tribal lands (as determined by the Co-Chairs) shall revise their 
procedures, requirements, and policies to include the use of dig once 
requirements and similar policies to encourage the deployment of broadband 
infrastructure in conjunction with Federal highway construction, as well as 
to provide for the reestablishment of any highway assets disturbed by 

(iv) the Department of Transportation, after outreach to relevant 
nonfederal stakeholders, shall review and, if necessary, revise its 
guidance to State departments of transportation on allowing for-profit or 
other entities to accommodate or construct, safely and securely maintain, 
and utilize broadband facilities on State and locally owned rights of way 
in order to reflect changes in broadband technologies and markets and to 
promote competitive broadband infrastructure deployment; and

(v) the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Working 
Group and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials, shall create an online platform that States and counties may use 
to aggregate and make publicly available their rights of way laws and joint 
occupancy guidelines and agreements.

                (b) For the purposes of this section, the term ``dig 
                once requirements'' means requirements designed to 
                reduce the number and scale of repeated excavations for 
                the installation and maintenance of broadband 
                facilities in rights of way.

                Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be 
                implemented consistent with all applicable laws, 
                treaties, and trust obligations, and subject to the 
                availability of appropriations.

[[Page 36906]]

                (b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair 
                or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the 
head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                (c) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to 
                comply with this order.

                (d) This order 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.
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, June 14, 2012.

[FR Doc. 2012-15183
Filed 6-19-12; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3295-F2-P