The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) held its first stakeholder meeting to discuss and develop procedures to facilitate the installation of broadband conduit on state highway right-of-ways. Assembly Member Jim Wood authored AB 1549 (Chapter 505, Statutes of 2016) last year that required Caltrans to create guidelines that would increase collaboration on installing conduit on its highway projects. AB 1549 also required Caltrans to post on its website department led highway construction projects in order for companies and organizations to partner with it on the installation of broadband conduit as part of those projects.
Greater collaboration with local jurisdictions and allowing companies to partner with Caltrans to only “dig once” in placing broadband conduit greatly decreases the cost of broadband deployment projects and will allow more counties to install fiber optic cable. RCRC will continue to engage in the development of the guidelines to ensure that our rural unserved and underserved areas have greater access to modern telecommunication technology.