Dig Once

Dig OnceIntroduction

The City and County of San Francisco’s Dig Once program is designed to create more efficient delivery of communications services and minimize disruption in the public right of way by taking advantage of opportunities to place communication conduit during excavation by municipal and private utilities, when technically and economically feasible.   In November 2014, the Board of Supervisors and Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco adopted a “Dig Once Ordinance” Ordinance No. 220-14. (The ordinance can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/oaz2qly .)   The Dig Once Ordinance requires “the installation of City-owned communications infrastructure in excavation projects where the City has determined that it is both financially feasible and consistent with the City’s long-term goals to develop the City’s communications infrastructure.”  The ordinance accomplishes this by (1) requiring all municipal utilities to take communications infrastructure into account in their planning process and (2) establishing a process for the Department of Technology (DT) to participate in utility excavation. The Department of Public Works (DPW) can only approve an application for an excavation permit if the applicant includes communications facilities that meet DT specifications, or if DT has opted out of the excavation project.


Development of Requirements

The DT has developed requirements necessary to implement a new Dig Once program. These requirements will (1) establish standard specifications for placing communications conduit in conjunction with excavation by private and municipal excavators; (2) institute a process for participation by excavators; (3) create criteria to determine which projects to prioritize; and (4) inaugurate a method for determining the incremental costs of adding communications conduit to an existing project.

DT solicited comments from municipal and private excavators in order to make the process as efficient and effective as possible. DT held two meetings with utility excavators and received written comments on the process. While the initial rules are complete, DT is interested in continuously improving the program so we welcome continued comments and suggestions to dig.once@sfgov.org.

Documents Related to Dig Once

Dig Once Ordinance (PDF)

Public Works Code Excavation Provisions (PDF)

Revised Draft Dig Once Requirements March 14, 2016 (PDF)

Dig Once Process Flow Chart (PDF)

San Francisco Dig Once Specification (PDF)

Draft Potential Dig Once Projects Ranked by Feasibility—September 17, 2015 (PDF)