Today, Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced a bill that would require broadband conduit to be included in the construction of roads built with federal funding, a policy known as “Dig Once”. The bill, Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2018, also known as “Dig Once,” joins the bevy of broadband legislation that’s come out in the past few days to accelerate the fiber deployment process.
Yesterday, three other bills aimed at speeding up the fiber deployment process were introduced. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) filed the Streaming and Expediting Approval for Communications Technologies Act, which would decrease the time it takes to get permits and approvals to build broadband, especially in rural areas. He was followed by Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) with the Inventory of Assets for Communications Facilities Act to create a federal inventory of assets for broadband deployment, and Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) with the Communications Facilities Deployment on Federal Property Act, which would standardize some processes for broadband siting, including on federal property.
All four bills from yesterday and today will, if passed, make it easier to deploy fiber across the country which is crucial for consumers today, and to support the 5G networks of tomorrow. Based on our latest research, 50 million North American homes are passed by fiber, but the government can help improve the market conditions to bring better broadband to more people.
“This has been an excellent week for broadband infrastructure,” said Heather Burnett Gold, President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association. “We are thrilled that these lawmakers are joining us in taking steps to accelerate the connected future and make fiber easier, faster, and more cost-effective to deploy.”
The Fiber Broadband Association and its members applaud these hardworking representatives for introducing these broadband bills, and urge their Congressional colleagues to move forward quickly to make these bills into law.