Broadband & Transportation
Access to high-speed broadband communications is essential for Oregon communities’ economic vitality and prosperity. It is also essential for transportation.
Technologies such as telemedicine, distance learning, and remote work all reduce demand on the transportation system. Adequate broadband service is important for ODOT employees working across the state as our work becomes increasingly digital. Broadband is also important for operation of the transportation system as it is an enabling technology for today's intelligent transportation system applications and the backbone for future applications supporting connected and automated vehicles.
Oregon HB 2411
House Bill 2411 enacted in 2021, requires ODOT to notify telecommunication providers about opportunities to coordinate with ODOT on certain STIP projects that include the potential to accommodate the installation of underground infrastructure for the provision of broadband services.
The bill requires the Oregon Broadband Office in Business Oregon to develop the list of telecommunication providers for ODOT to use to notify the industry about opportunities. The purpose of this bill is to allow the broadband providers to take advantage of “open trench” opportunities to help the state of Oregon achieve its goal to expand broadband access across Oregon and reduce the digital divide that exists in many parts of our state.
Federal Broadband Rule
The FHWA Broadband Infrastructure Final Rule (23 CFR 645 Subpart C) implementing provisions of the Federal Mobile Now Act became effective on March 3, 2022. The rule is similar to the Oregon HB 2411 and includes four requirements:
- Identification of a Broadband Coordinator at each state DOT.
- Establish a registration process for broadband entities that want to be notified of opportunities.
- Establish a process for notifying broadband entities.
- Develop strategies to minimize repeated excavations that involve broadband infrastructure installation in highway right of way.