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Salinas promotes broadband development with new dig once rule

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By Steve Blum
Tellus Venture Associates

February 16, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

 

Underground utility construction and other projects that involve work on city streets in Salinas will include dig once requirements, thanks to an ordinance approved by the Salinas city council. The new rule requires notification of telephone, cable and other telecoms companies whenever such work is done, and gives them an opportunity to include their own conduit in the project. Once completed, there will be a five year moratorium on any excavations in that particular location.

The key language reads

All construction, reconstruction, repaving of a City right of way shall include a provision for the installation of a public utility infrastructure, such as conduit, tube, duct, or other device designed for enclosing telecommunications wires, fibers, or cables, wherever practical and feasible…

To the extent feasible, the Director of Public Works or his/her designee shall notify (or require an applicant for such work to notify) all known telecommunications service providers of an impending excavation and afford all such service providers the opportunity to utilize the excavation to install, upgrade, co-locate, repair or improve their telecommunications facilities during such an excavation project. Any such notice shall be provided at least 30 days prior to the commencement of excavation. All service providers utilizing the same excavation shall be responsible for their proportionate share of the excavation costs, including but not limited to the costs of permitting. Such excavation shall not take place more than once on a particular City street within a 5-year period.

The ordinance reinforces the City of Salinas’ current practice of installing city-owned telecoms conduit in public works projects. In the relatively short time this shadow conduit policy has been in place, the city has built up an inventory of three miles of conduit that’s available to support broadband projects, and has plans to build 20 miles more in the next few years. And that’s not including new development that’s also on the books.

City of Salina resolution, communications infrastructure in underground projects
Staff report

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