At least some broadband policy can cross party lines in congress

31 March 2017 by Steve Blum
, , ,

There are aspects of broadband policy that are getting bipartisan support in the U.S. congress. Not anything to do with privacy rules or network neutrality or common carrier status for broadband, of course. But there are common views regarding some of the nitty gritty details of broadband infrastructure deployment.

A house of representatives sub-committee that deals with communications and technology issues looked kindly on two draft bills, both of which are largely revivals of proposals that didn’t make it out of congress last year.… More

Competitive ISPs need access to conduit, but it has be there in the first place

4 July 2016 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

The need for open trench notification policies is particularly acute when a local agency restricts future cuts into a given street, after the completion of a trenching or repaving project. But the need to rapidly respond to changes in the broadband industry and market conditions means that a new, or newly expanding, competitive Internet service provider is a disadvantage if, say, a five year moratorium was put into effect on a particular street three years ago, before the company was even founded.… More

Dig once dropped from federal broadband bill

15 May 2016 by Steve Blum
, , ,

But closed conversation.

The latest version of a U.S. senate bill aimed at boosting broadband availability cuts out language from a previous version that would have encouraged, but not required, federal agencies to include conduit in highway projects. Senate bill 2555, also known as the Mobile Now act, would clear more wireless spectrum for broadband purposes and streamline access to federal property in order to install both wireline and wireless facilities.

The bill was approved, with bipartisan support, by the senate commerce, science and transportation committee and is now on track for a full senate vote.… More

City of Gonzales approves simple dig once policy

A simple, one-page dig once/shadow conduit policy was adopted earlier this month by the Gonzales, California city council. The policy is a simple way to give public works staff the ability to include broadband conduit in road maintenance, utility digs and similar projects. It’s an adaptation of a staff-level policy that was implemented by the City of Salinas a few years ago, forming the basis for its recently launched commercial/industrial broadband network initiative.

Under the policy, the assumption is that conduit will be installed any time the city opens up a trench, subject to the public works director’s discretion…

Unless waived by the Public Works Director on the basis of undue burden, or an unfavorable cost-benefit analysis, or the consideration of other relevant factors, Gonzales will install or have installed communications conduit whenever the City undertakes or authorizes the following types of projects:

  1. New street, road, sidewalk, bike path, or other transportation infrastructure construction.

U.S. senate looks at conduit requirements for federal highway projects

21 February 2016 by Steve Blum
, , ,

The “Mobile Now” bill that was introduced in the U.S. senate is mostly about freeing up more government-reserved spectrum for broadband purposes, but it also includes an endorsement, if not a full-on commitment, to a dig once policy. It expresses a desire for federal transportation officials to include conduit in highway projects

It is the sense of Congress that Federal agencies should endeavor to create policy that–

  1. evaluates and provides for the inclusion of broadband conduit installation in federally funded highway construction projects;
  2. provides for such inclusion without negatively impacting the safety, operations, and maintenance of the highway facility, its users, or others;
  3. promotes investment and competition by ensuring that communications providers may access such conduit on a nondiscriminatory basis; and
  4. limits any burden on State departments of transportation incurred by the inclusion of broadband conduit in such projects.

San Benito streets aren't complete without broadband

18 February 2016 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Fiber marker.

What travels below roadways is as important to street and highway planning as what travels upon them. That’s the simple message in a complete streets policy developed and adopted in San Benito County, which is both the southernmost extension of Silicon Valley (reckoning by census bureau designations) and part of the Monterey Bay region in California.

Streets are more than just a place to drive a car…

San Benito County recognizes that roadways provide mobility and access for travelers, and serve other functions that are important to the community.


Prospective microtrenching is one more tool in the muni broadband kit

Measuring the benefit.

The idea behind open trench and shadow conduit policies is that you can minimise damage to roads and maximise the future benefit of fiber by doing everything at once, rather than tearing up pavement whenever a project comes along. Even if you don’t need the conduit right away, the small marginal cost of putting conduit into an open trench could be offset just by the money saved on road maintenance.

A rule of thumb is that cutting into a street reduces its remaining lifespan by 10%.… More