Thursday, March 23, 2017

‘Dig Once’ and Rights-of-Way Critical to Broadband Deployment

Concepts like “Dig Once,” are gaining traction on Capitol Hill as lawmakers grapple with ways to remove barriers for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. In a hearing this week covered by Inside Towers, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology discussed draft legislation first proposed by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Greg Walden (R-OR) in 2015 that would require installing a conduit during construction of a federally-funded highway or road in an area that needs more broadband.

Failure to implement Dig Once means more construction, more disruption, and much higher costs for private providers — who may simply decide not to deploy in an area where the economics don’t work, say several think tanks led by Tech Freedom in a letter to the subcommittee. “A study by the GAO showed that ‘Dig Once’ policies can reduce the cost of deploying fiber under highways in urban areas by 25–33 percent and by roughly 16 percent in rural areas. These cost reductions add up to enormous savings in the context of multi-million-dollar builds.” Continue Reading

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