As reported by John Eggerton at Multichannel News, on June 10, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee favorably reported the National Dig Once Act out of committee as part of the INVEST America Act. The Dig Once Act, writes Eggerton, "would require that the plastic conduit that houses fiber optic cable be included in the construction of any road being built with federal funds in areas without broadband," with broadband providers receiving notice of opportunity to use those conduits. The idea behind the bill is to expedite fiber deployment and reduce the time end expense of multiple excavations.
Leaving aside the other parts of the INVEST America Act, the policy contained in the Dig Once Act is sensible way to promote broadband access to unserved Americans. Hopefully, the 117th Congress will see fit to pass "dig once" reform as a way to promote real infrastructure in the United States. For more on the "dig once" legislation's sponsorship and history, see John Eggerton's report.