GEEKS’ DigOnce! initiative is also designed to help achieve the goal of Broadband for the next Billion through the introduction of a green, intelligent, infrastructure sharing protocol designed to markedly improve the availability of broadband by materially reducing the time and cost taken to rollout fiber optic networks.
At the heart of DigOnce! is model legislation designed, after careful research by GEEKS’ in-house lawyers (together with input from the wider international legal community reflecting practices in different continents), to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help to close the digital divide. It achieves this by introducing a framework of practices, equally relevant to both advanced and emerging economies, which will bring connectivity to more people more rapidly and at a lower cost.
More than 85% of fiber optic cost are related to digging the trenches for laying the fiber optic cabling. The vision of the DigOnce! initiative allows for fiber networks to share existing utility network infrastructures (water, gas, electricity, sewage), for the installation of empty fiber optic conduits (the plastic pipes that fiber is later “blown” or “pulled” through) as existing roads are expanded, repaired or dug up to install new utilities, or new roads built. DigOnce! is also concerned with related matters such as equality of access to network information, the central coordination of civil works with a view to optimising efficiencies, the use of standardized technology facilitating cost effective choice of suppliers and to efficient network maintenance and repair protocols.
The DigOnce! initiative is “green” since it advocates using existing networks to accommodate fiber or, in the alternative, to lay spare fiber conduits any time new roads are built or old ones are updated. This collectively materially reduces the road congestion and impact on the environment of repeatedly digging up roads due to a lack of a centralised broadband development and related civil works policy.
The diverse benefits of DigOnce! are just as applicable to existing infrastructures in major international cities as they are to new infrastructures in emerging economies such as new roads funded by the European Union, the International Finance Corporation, the African and Asian Development Banks. It has equal relevance to The International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission which is now focused, from a policy point of view, on how to bring together concepts of broadband Internet with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The DigOnce! model legislation is designed for use by Governments and NGOs around the world to use as a template for considering how best to bring the social, educational and financial benefits of broadband to the greatest number of people quickly and efficiently. The success of this initiative will require a tremendous amount of outreach and advocacy and continual education of the compelling benefits of DigOnce!. However, there is an increasing level of recognition by the international community supporting the need for a green, intelligent, infrastructure sharing protocol capable of improving the lives of a billion people within a ten year period.
The Global Connectivity Fund is a Non-For-Profit initiative of Geeks Without Frontiers Non-Governmental-Organization (NGO). The fund seeks to aggregate .005% of the new primarily national infrastructure investment in emerging countries. For example with the Geek’s “Dig Once” model legislation calls for the construction of tens of thousands of route kilometer of conduits on new roads and national right of ways in emerging economies. Geeks seeks to secure a .005% contribution to the Connectivity fund based on the value of the newly installed infrastructure. The Connectivity fund will specifically be spent in remote and off-grid villages of the country where the funds originated. Geeks is seeking to have a single fiber set aside for Geeks to ensure Village Connectivity solutions.