Press Release Broadband

Public Knowledge Applauds Reps. Eshoo, Walden for Bipartisan Fiber Deployment ‘Dig Once’ Bill

October 22, 2015 , , , ,

Today, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Subcommittee, introduced the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2015. This bipartisan bill, also known as “Dig Once,” would mandate the inclusion of broadband conduit — plastic pipes through which companies can easily pull fiber cables when construction is finished — during the construction or upgrade of roads receiving federal funding.

The following statement can be attributed to Kate Forscey, Government Affairs Associate Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“This bill is a welcome sign of bipartisan consensus that broadband is essential for meaningful participation in daily life. The ‘dig once’ policy they propose will help to accelerate and streamline broadband deployment to all Americans, and particularly to underserved communities nationwide and with limited federal investment. Notably, the current iteration of the bill marks the first bipartisan sponsorship of a ‘dig once’ policy. Public Knowledge applauds ongoing efforts of Congresswoman Eshoo and her colleagues to find common ground to promote deployment and ensure broadband access for all Americans.

“One barrier to deployment is the high cost of tearing up roads to lay the fiber conduits needed to bring high-speed, high-capacity networks to all Americans. ‘Dig once’ would expedite and dramatically lower the cost to providers, encouraging competition and making future upgrades easier. This straightforward, common sense approach has worked in those local communities that have adopted it.

“Broadband is now as critical an infrastructure as our roads and highways. By passing this bill, Congress will allow fiber providers to leverage our national highway system to build the information super-highway of the future.”