A Dig Once Law Could Have Save the US $126 Billion in Broadband Deployment Costs

Coverage Type: 

Telecom experts have long pushed for a “dig once” law that would mandate the installation of fiber conduit during roadway construction and upgrades. A new study by BroadbandNow states that passing “dig once” legislation could have saved the US $126 billion in broadband deployment costs. Dig once legislation has been routinely proposed since 1996 by a rotating crop of lawmakers, but the legislation rarely goes anywhere. Reps Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced bipartisan dig once legislation in 2018, though it failed to gain traction in Congress. Three other efforts by Rep Eshoo (2009, 2011, and 2015) were similarly unsuccessful. 

Matt Wood, General Counsel of consumer group Free Press said that there’s a number of reasons why such laws don’t gain traction. The biggest being that incumbent ISPs like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast aren’t keen on anything that would make it easier for competitors to challenge their regional broadband monopolies. Ultimately, big telecom’s lobbying stranglehold over both state and federal government remains the biggest obstacle to better broadband.

This Simple Law Could Have Saved The US $126 Billion in Broadband Deployment Costs