California senate votes to pay $300 million for slower broadband

Assembly bill 1665 was approved by the California senate this afternoon on a lopsided vote. The initial count was 32 in favor and 2 against, but the roll was left open for a while, so the final numbers could be different. The no votes came from Mike McGuire (D – Healdsburg) and Janet Nguyen (R – Garden Grove).

The bill will drop California’s minimum speed standard to 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up, and allocate $300 million in construction subsidies under rules that all but guarantee the money will go to AT&T and Frontier Communications. It also imperils pending projects. AB 1665 now goes back to the assembly for a concurrence vote.