Today, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman David B. McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2018, which is substantially identical to the 2015 bill of the same name.
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 — during the construction of roads receiving federal funding. This would eliminate the need to dig up recently-paved roads to expand broadband infrastructure. Public Knowledge applauds Reps. Eshoo and McKinley for championing this bipartisan proposal to expand broadband services while reducing costs.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President at Public Knowledge:
“There is universal agreement that broadband is as essential to all Americans as electricity and clean water. But rural areas continue to lag behind because the high cost of deployment is spread over fewer customers than in urban or suburban areas. This common sense, bipartisan legislation is an obvious and straightforward way to bring down the cost of deployment, and to promote competition in denser urban areas. Congress should move this bill forward as quickly as possible, rather than wait to work out the details of a more comprehensive infrastructure bill.
“Almost 230 years ago, the Constitution gave Congress the power to build ‘postal roads’ to connect all Americans with a universal postal system. It is enormously fitting that Congress should use that power today to bring affordable broadband to all Americans. Representative Eshoo has announced that this is only the first in a series of bills designed to bring affordable broadband to all Americans. We look forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans to create an open, ubiquitous, and affordable broadband network for our nation.”
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