An interesting piece of legislation was introduced last week by (D-CA) – the . offers into this legislation, which would mandate all new federal highway projects to place a broadband conduit during construction. The mandate can be waived where the Department of Transportation and the FCC determine the conduit isn’t necessary. “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,” stated Rep. Eshoo in a announcing the legislation. “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.”

On the surface the legislation makes a lot of common sense. rightly points out the right-of-way headaches associated with building broadband networks. If this legislation helps that in any way, it could prove to be very beneficial to broadband build outs (not to mention the potential construction cost savings it may create). Too bad it wasn’t introduced twenty years ago, before much of the nation’s current broadband infrastructure was painstakingly assembled.

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2 thoughts on “Broadband Conduit Act Introduced

  1. Although the conduit initiative is a forward looking program – although a little late – several details from the regulated world we live in need to be answered for this to be successful. Questions such as who will control access to the conduit, will telcos be forced to share fiber lambdas with other companies, will the government lease the fiber to telcos, we need to define what “sufficient to meet demand” conduit size, etc. come to mind. Also, will some of our current telecom regulations need modiification to support this initiative? And the big one for the states, who will pay for the added cost of placement? We also might consider if this money would be better spent in improving the local infrastructure with brownfield FTTP projects.

  2. It would be helpful if this bill also required that the conduit be allowed as attachments to bridges and overpasses. Some states prohibit such attachments currently and it requires the carrier to bore under rivers,or find alternate above ground right of ways.

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