10.22.2015Public Policy

Dig Once: An easy, common-sense way to boost broadband deployment

Verizon’s track record for investing in broadband deployment is well established.  And whether for wireline or wireless, such deployment is often capital-intensive.  A number of companies are looking for different ways of connecting those consumers who aren’t yet online, and policymakers are looking for ways to ease and encourage further investment and deployment. Today, for example, Rep. Anna Eshoo, with co-sponsor Rep. Greg Walden, re-introduced the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2015, a.k.a. the “Dig Once” bill.

“Dig Once” is a common-sense measure that requires state and local authorities to work together to identify opportunities for installing new broadband conduits when building any federally funded highway infrastructure. These conduits, through which broadband providers could install their cabling without the need to dig up the roads, would be made available to any provider on a non-discriminatory basis. Finally, the location of the conduits would be made publicly available on the National Broadband Map.

Reps. Eshoo and Walden’s proposal will enable numerous broadband providers to lay fiber lines faster, without the traffic disruption and extra expense that roadway digs and installations typically cause. It’s an obvious boon for the companies looking to invest in next-generation networks, products and services, but even more importantly the bill is a big win for consumers and their communities.

About the author(s): 

Peter Davidson is responsible for federal legislative affairs and global public policy at Verizon. Before joining the company, Davidson served as general counsel assisting the United States Trade Representative in negotiating and implementing trade agreements and supervising litigation at the World Trade Organization. Prior to becoming general counsel to the USTR in February 2001, Davidson was vice president for Congressional Affairs at Qwest, coordinating all federal legislative activities for that company.