New Bill: Fiber Conduit Must Be Laid With Highways
Anna Eshoo's Broadband Conduit Deployment Act
Palo Alto Representative Anna G. Eshoo unveiled a bill last week
that's slightly different from the standard fare though probably a decade or two too late. Eshoo's Broadband Conduit Deployment Act
would require that new fiber conduit banks be installed automatically as part of any Federal highway projects moving forward. The Department of Transportation would waive the requirement where necessary and work with the FCC to determine need. Says Eshoo:
"According to industry experts, more than half of the cost of new broadband deployment is attributable to the expense of tearing up and repaving roads," said Rep. Eshoo. "By putting the broadband conduit in place while the ground beneath the roadways is exposed, we will enable any authorized communications provider to come in later and install fiber-optic cable at far less cost."
If you've been playing along at home, you know that the government has assigned $300 million to map broadband deployment, something the FCC hasn't been particularly good at. The Government is also cooking up a much larger plan -- to be unveiled this fall -- that takes aim at rural broadband shortcomings.