Eshoo, McKinley, Delgado Applaud Committee Passage of Legislation to Expand Internet Services to Rural and Underserved Communities
WASHINGON, D.C. – Today U.S. Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), David B. McKinley (R-WV), and Antonio Delgado (D-NY) applauded the committee passage of H.R. 3703, the Nationwide Dig Once Act through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The legislation expands the deployment of broadband internet service to rural and unserved communities across the U.S. and was adopted by the Committee in Section 1603 of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization legislation.
The Nationwide Dig Once Act mandates the inclusion of broadband conduit – plastic pipes which house fiber-optic communications cables – during the construction of any road receiving federal funding in areas that lack broadband. Eshoo first introduced Dig Once legislation in 2009.
“Passage of our bipartisan bill, the Nationwide Dig Once Act, as part of the surface transportation reauthorization package is a major win for broadband across the U.S. Our legislation ensures that highway construction projects receiving federal funding will include broadband infrastructure needed to bring internet service to the most underserved communities,” said Eshoo. “The internet plays a central role in our day-to-day lives and I’m proud to see my legislation advancing so we can quickly and efficiently expand broadband to those who are unserved or underserved in our country.”
“The COVID19 pandemic showed the importance of having reliable internet service, from connecting to family members to accessing health care. Across West Virginia and in too many parts of the country access to good high speed internet is spotty. Our bipartisan legislation will ensure deployment of high-speed internet quicker and more efficiently by ensuring federal infrastructure projects include conduit to lay fiber. As we work to close the digital divide in West Virginia and across the country, this is a positive step in the right direction,” said Rep. McKinley.