‘Dig-Once’ Street Plan Proposed Again
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to bring to fruition a concept known as “dig once.” What it basically says is that when a city decides to dig up a street for repairs or construction, it should take that opportunity to lay down an extra pipe that can carry high-speed fiber optic cables or other broadband conduits. Doing so prevents having to dig up the same street multiple times whenever another company wants to lay down new Internet infrastructure.
A 2012 executive order from the White House also tried to do the same thing. This time, Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Greg Walden, R-Ore., have 26 other House sponsors for the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2015. The proposed legislation requires that a new pipe for Internet cables be installed if a construction project both receives federal funding and surveys indicate that the next 15 years could lead to a demand for broadband in the project’s vicinity.
If this two-pronged test works, residential and commercial streets all over the country could wind up having these conduits installed automatically as federally funded construction projects discover that nearby homes and businesses would benefit from the extra pipe.