“Dig Once” Bill Could Bring Fiber Internet to Much of the US

Megalith

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I can’t think of any obvious downsides to this proposition, so I wouldn't mind seeing this voted and passed. “Dig Once” would basically have construction workers add plastic pipes for housing fiber cables whenever they build or upgrade roads, sidewalks, etc. Needless to say, the point is to make it easier to spread speedy internet access.

…construction workers would install conduits just about any time they build new roads and sidewalks or upgrade existing ones. These conduits are plastic pipes that can house fiber cables. The conduits might be empty when installed, but their presence makes it a lot cheaper and easier to install fiber later, after the road construction is finished. The idea is an old one. US Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has been proposing dig once legislation since 2009, and it has widespread support from broadband-focused consumer advocacy groups. It has never made it all the way through Congress, but it has bipartisan backing from lawmakers who often disagree on the most controversial broadband policy questions, such as net neutrality and municipal broadband.
 

Wade88

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This would be awesome, then maybe Comcast wouldn't want $10,000 check to dig and run a fiber 325 yards down the hill to where the closest hot fiber is.
 

Stiler

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This is a great idea, don't see why anyone would vote against it. It makes it cheaper in the long run and it helps bring areas up to speed.

Only if the broadband companies would follow suit, fat chance of that though.
 
D

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Remove the monopoly power of utility ROW access by ISPs and watch them start making progress when others are willing to install like Google fiber etc, its amazing people have no idea how many want to install service, but literally CAN'T because of regulation. All this does is pass off part of the install cost to the tax payer for the ISP who already has a monopoly/duopoly in that given market.
 

Master_shake_

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it should already be there.


The Commitment:


  • By 2006, 86 million households should have already been wired with a fiber (and coax), wire, capable of at least 45 Mbps in both directions, and could handle 500+ channels.
  • Universal Broadband: This wiring was to be done in rich and poor neighborhoods, in rural, urban and suburban areas equally.
  • Open to ALL Competition: These networks were to be open to ALL competitors, not a closed-in network or deployed only where the phone company desired.
  • Each State: By 2006, 75% of the state of New Jersey was to be wired, Pennsylvania was to have 50% of households by 2004, California to have 5 million households by 2000, Texas claimed all schools, libraries, hospitals.…Virtually every state had commitments.
  • Massive Financial Incentives: In exchange for building these networks, the Bell companies ALL received changes in state laws that gave these them excessive profits, tax savings, and other perks to be used in building these networks.
  • This was not DSL, which travels over the old copper wiring and did not require new regulations.
  • This is not Verizon's FIOS or SBC’s Lightspeed fiber optics, which are slower, can't handle 500 channels, are not open to competition, and are not being deployed equitably.
  • This was NOT fiber somewhere in the network ether, but directly to homes.
 

Wierdo

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They do this in many parts of Europe, it's very handy, part of why they're so much more successful in deploying their fiber. It would be helpful if we did that here as well so we can have less of that "$50,000 charge by Comcrap or AT&T for a mile of connectivity" BS.
 

sboucher

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This should be a no brainer.. There is a reason why we run just about everything through conduit in the commercial and industrial electrical industry, and it goes beyond just ease of future expansion / renos. Should be no different for them.
 

lcpiper

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This would be awesome, then maybe Comcast wouldn't want $10,000 check to dig and run a fiber 325 yards down the hill to where the closest hot fiber is.

Nobody reads anymore.

Years in the making, a proposal to mandate the installation of fiber conduits during federally funded highway projects.............................

It's only good for Federal Construction projects, it won't effect rebuilding State Route ## or the 325 yards to anywhere that isn't running along I-95 or some other interstate.

This legislation is mostly feel-good bullshit. Look at cities and federal highways in the US and imagine which local ISPs will be in a position to take advantage of federally built conduit. Only where the Interstates and such cross metropolitan areas and communities that lie along these routes. Now in how much of these regions are large ISPs already entrenched.

I have no doubt ComCast likes the idea that the Feds are going to lay pipe for them along the highways for long-haul fiber. And I am sure that small communities along the Interstates can benefit from having fiber roll through allowing a large provider to deploy service or even a smaller ISP who will probably have to pay for access through the bigger ISP who is actually running this fiber down the roadways. But I can also see that no matter how much cheaper it is to run fiber down the I-10, when Cox Communications drags that Fiber through it doesn't mean that they will do anything to establish new service for some city on the route or that it will be cheap for a mom-and-pop ISP to tap in and deploy the local infrastructure that this bill will not provide for.

Does someone see this differently ?
 

wizdum

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Nobody reads anymore.



It's only good for Federal Construction projects, it won't effect rebuilding State Route ## or the 325 yards to anywhere that isn't running along I-95 or some other interstate.

This legislation is mostly feel-good bullshit. Look at cities and federal highways in the US and imagine which local ISPs will be in a position to take advantage of federally built conduit. Only where the Interstates and such cross metropolitan areas and communities that lie along these routes. Now in how much of these regions are large ISPs already entrenched.

I have no doubt ComCast likes the idea that the Feds are going to lay pipe for them along the highways for long-haul fiber. And I am sure that small communities along the Interstates can benefit from having fiber roll through allowing a large provider to deploy service or even a smaller ISP who will probably have to pay for access through the bigger ISP who is actually running this fiber down the roadways. But I can also see that no matter how much cheaper it is to run fiber down the I-10, when Cox Communications drags that Fiber through it doesn't mean that they will do anything to establish new service for some city on the route or that it will be cheap for a mom-and-pop ISP to tap in and deploy the local infrastructure that this bill will not provide for.

Does someone see this differently ?

The feds fund lots of local projects. We have a sidewalk project going on in my town that is using local, state, and federal funds. I tried to get them to put conduit in, but amending the contract between those three parties would have been a nightmare.
 

lcpiper

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The feds fund lots of local projects. We have a sidewalk project going on in my town that is using local, state, and federal funds. I tried to get them to put conduit in, but amending the contract between those three parties would have been a nightmare.


EDITED: Federal funds doesn't make it a federal project.

I could very well be wrong here in my interpretation of this article.

I tracked back an older proposal that didn't pass and it would have mandated this as a requirement for all projects that recieve Federal funds with a tricky exception;
http://eshoo.house.gov/issues/economy/eshoo-walden-introduce-dig-once-broadband-deployment-bill/
This bipartisan, commonsense legislation would mandate the inclusion of broadband conduit—plastic pipes which house fiber-optic communications cable—during the construction of any road receiving federal funding if there is a demonstrated need for broadband in the area within the next 15 years.
 
Last edited:

Mohonri

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The feds fund lots of local projects. We have a sidewalk project going on in my town that is using local, state, and federal funds. I tried to get them to put conduit in, but amending the contract between those three parties would have been a nightmare.
Precisely. There's a 4-mile stretch of road near me that's slated for widening in the next few years, with the help of a hefty Federal gov't grant. It's a totally local road--not a state or even county highway, as far as I can tell.
 

Azrak

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It sounds great in theory. But once a section of road that has this plastic pipe installed needs to be re-dug to fix a problem or add another pipe and the (still unused) plastic pipe is damaged/broken, the work crew won't fix it because they won't have the materials ("we didn't know it was there") or the inclination ("it isn't being used, why fix it?") or time ("got another job to do today") or desire ("not my pipe, not my problem") to fix something that isn't used.
 

TwistedAegis

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It sounds great in theory. But once a section of road that has this plastic pipe installed needs to be re-dug to fix a problem or add another pipe and the (still unused) plastic pipe is damaged/broken, the work crew won't fix it because they won't have the materials ("we didn't know it was there") or the inclination ("it isn't being used, why fix it?") or time ("got another job to do today") or desire ("not my pipe, not my problem") to fix something that isn't used.

Perhaps true, but isn't that kind of defeatist? Gotta at least try to improve things...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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A few things about this would be bloody fantastic:

1.) Getting the damned wires underground. I mean, putting everything there. Power, AND networking/communication. When I moved back to the U.S. after living in Sweden for 16 years, the first thing I noticed was how ugly the sky was everywhere with all these goddamned power and phone lines everywhere. Hideous. That, and getting to the point where every god damned storm powerful enough to knock down a branch on a tree no longer takes out power or internet for someone, would be brilliant. Wires belong underground, both for appearance AND for functionality. There would be a slight upfront cost, but it is well worth it as a long term investment. I mean, how much does it cost to send out crews of linemen in force every time there is a storm? And storms are getting more and more common...

2.) The ease of spreading fiber and getting more competition for internet service would also be huge. Not to mention having tubes in place, so whenever you need an upgrade you can just snake new wires through.
 

Dullard

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It'd be great! I could route my awesome 2.5/.4 DSL underground instead of through the trees in the back yard!
 

illli

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hope this goes better than the gov't giving verizon and at&t billions to roll out fibre (and them just taking the money and doing nothing in return)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/the-book-of-broken-promis_b_5839394.html
By the end of 2014, America will have been charged about $400 billion by the local phone incumbents, Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink, for a fiber optic future that never showed up. And though it varies by state, counting the taxes, fees and surcharges that you have paid every month (many of these fees are actually revenues to the company or taxes on the company that you paid), it comes to about $4000-$5000.00 per household from 1992-2014, and that’s the low number
 
D

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A few things about this would be bloody fantastic:

1.) Getting the damned wires underground. I mean, putting everything there. Power, AND networking/communication. When I moved back to the U.S. after living in Sweden for 16 years, the first thing I noticed was how ugly the sky was everywhere with all these goddamned power and phone lines everywhere. Hideous. That, and getting to the point where every god damned storm powerful enough to knock down a branch on a tree no longer takes out power or internet for someone, would be brilliant. Wires belong underground, both for appearance AND for functionality. There would be a slight upfront cost, but it is well worth it as a long term investment. I mean, how much does it cost to send out crews of linemen in force every time there is a storm? And storms are getting more and more common...

2.) The ease of spreading fiber and getting more competition for internet service would also be huge. Not to mention having tubes in place, so whenever you need an upgrade you can just snake new wires through.

1. Yes, upfront cost to tax pays for the benefit of a private company, no thanks. If they wish to allow construction access to the ISP to install (at their own cost) conduit/lines, so be it.

2. You will have no, or even less competition with this in place, the ROW access is already controlled by local regulation, this is why most locations have one or two providers that almost never have competing prices. This is also why Google has had trouble getting into cities, not because of install cost, but problems getting the local authority to allow them to install. This is why Google has halted fiber install and bought a company with a high power wireless solution, they plan on doing last mile installs with wireless where they don't have to deal with those regulations and restrictions on who is allowed access.

Being of limited capacity, these conduits will have to be allocated to given ISPs, meaning those with controlling power will be the first ones on the list, giving them an even further advantage over smaller or start up competition. Those that are first reap what is essentially free money, while those coming in after capacity is reached will have to properly pay out of pocket and dig their own lines.
 

Dead Parrot

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Maybe they could include oil and gas pipelines as part of this. Might allow some rural areas to get advanced fiber connections that otherwise won't see good Internet for decades.
 

TwistedAegis

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There would be a slight upfront cost, but it is well worth it as a long term investment. I mean, how much does it cost to send out crews of linemen in force every time there is a storm? And storms are getting more and more common...

CEOs have to produce quarterly results. The average CEO tenure of a Fortune 500 company is 4.6 years; all companies is 8.1 years. We've engineered a system where it's better to eat the seed corn then to worry about what you'll eat in 3 months.
 
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Ducman69

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I'm not usually a fan of Eshoo, as most of her ideas are stupid, but this is not one of them. Support her bill 110%.
 

gman

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Just so long as they don't hit anyones sewer causing a back up in your house and also hit your power by boring under your yard. Yes AT&T did that to my house and we're still trying to get our floor fixed. An AT&T guy came by my house yesterday to try and sell me their shit. Guess what I told him. :)
 

c3k

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As soon as they mandate a 2" conduit, the "industry" will say they need 3". And so it will go...
 

sfsuphysics

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So we have the feds that are basically saying all construction must adhere to these standards? Great. Now it'll cost even more to get anything down, 3 guys digging a hole, 4 guys sitting around with a slow/stop sign between their legs on the side of a road, 8 supervisors making sure everything is going according to plan, 3 police cruisers because... something... an entire lane of traffic coned off for most of the day even though the work only occurs for a few hours.... and then on top of it, get a federal regulator to observe the project is being done to standards.
 

c3k

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LOL...yeah, the police cruisers. In my town, the cops (yes, I support the Thin Blue Line), usually take in 150-175% of what their contract shows as their pay. See, if you do ANY construction, you need traffic control. Only a few people are certified to control traffic. Yeah, they're the cops. But you can't take a cop off the beat to control traffic. You need to hire one who's not on duty. That pays double time. Or more on weekends. Great gig.
 

bbartlett

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Wired solutions are never going to solve the broadband problem for Rural America. When it costs somewhere around $50-60k/plant-mile to put fiber in the earth, it makes zero fiscal sense to build out to areas with just a handful of passings per mile. You'll never recover the investment. Hell, Google stopped building in the urban areas as its a losing battle to overbuild and expect any return on the massive investment it takes to lay fiber.

Hopefully the advancements in wireless tech will solve these issues in the coming years.
 

c3k

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So, no small tunnel making robots have been invented yet.. hmm .

This gave me an idea: superglue an individual glass fiber to the end of an earthworm. Repeat x1000s. A self-forming organic network!
 
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