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Powell Applauds Eshoo's 'Dig Once' Bill

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) wants any federal highway construction to include laying fiber-optic cable conduits (plastic pipes) as a matter of policy, a move the National Cable & Telecommunications Association saluted Tuesday.

"We applaud Rep. Eshoo for introduction of the Broadband Conduit Deployment Act of 2011, which will facilitate the further deployment of broadband service throughout the U.S.." said NCTA president Michael Powell in his first official statement atop the association.

Eshoo said the 'dig once' policy would be a "creative approach" to the FCC's July 2010 conclusion that broadband was not being deployed "in a reasonable and timely" manner. Cable operators have registered some disagreement on that point, but Powell said the group is all for creative solutions for getting even more broadband to consumers. "We look forward to working with the Rep. Eshoo and other policymakers on creative solutions to lower the cost of broadband deployment so that every American can benefit from this important service," he said.

Powell is the former honorary co-chair of the Broadband Industry Alliance, whose goal was finding marketplace solutions to broadband deployment and adoption.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.