Congress is looking to bring fiber internet to you faster with the Dig Once bill

Gigabit Internet

Fiber internet just took a big step forward in the U.S. Almost a decade after Representative Anna Eshoo of California submitted the so-called “Dig Once” legislation, which requires fiber conduit installation during federally funded road projects, the bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It is now headed to the U.S. Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

As per an announcement from Eshoo’s office, the Dig Once policy “mandates the inclusion of broadband conduit — plastic pipes which house fiber-optic communications cable — during the construction of any road receiving federal funding.” That could significantly accelerate the process of implementing fiber internet, which has historically been a rather time-consuming project. Eshoo added, “This will reduce costs drastically and increase access for communities across the country,” making it “easier for states and broadband providers to enter new and underserved markets,” Eshoo said.

As Ars Technica reported, Dig Once is one of the few pieces of legislation in Congress that has enjoyed bipartisan support. After all, it seems that all constituencies are quite bullish on the need for faster and more reliable internet, which is provided by fiber cables. If the bill passes the Senate, it’ll then go to the president’s desk, where it will await a final signature. And although Dig Once exclusively addresses federally funded construction projects, there are other versions of the same policy that have already been signed into law by some states and cities.

The success of the bill comes as part of a larger reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission, which has been the source of much controversy over the past few months, what with its decision to roll back the previous administration’s net neutrality measures. This latest reauthorization includes a number of telecom-related action items, including a provision that will allow the FCC to call for further spectrum auctions. These auctions could in turn pave the way for 5G wireless networks.

As FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly noted, “Once this becomes law there are several large-scale spectrum auctions for mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum — especially the upper 37GHz (37.6-38.6GHz) — that the Commission needs to conduct in the very near future.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

5G: Why everything is about to change

Curious about the many ways 5G will change and enrich your life? Here’s our guide to all things 5G.

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.