Governor Brown signs California broadband subsidy bills into law

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According to the sponsors of the legislation, Governor Brown has showered affection and money on Californian broadband backers, signing senate bill 740 and assembly bill 1299 into law. We’re all feeling the love now.

“Congratulations everyone, SB 740 has been signed by the Governor”, said SB 740 author senator Alex Padilla (D- Los Angeles). “I know a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience went into the bill, but it’s great to know that all the work has paid off.”

“Governor also signed AB 1299,” added assemblyman Steve Bradford (D – Los Angeles) and the author of AB 1299. “Thanks to the entire team for their support and dedication on both bills”.

Bradford was instrumental in getting both bills passed, resurrecting SB 740 from the dead after cable television lobbyists buried it with an avalanche of untruths.


You can all get back to work now.

SB 740 puts $90 million more into the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and allows cities and independent Internet service providers to apply for grants and loans, albeit under very restricted conditions.

AB 1299 takes $20 million of that, plus $5 million from the existing CASF loan program, and gives it to public housing authorities to use for building broadband facilities and marketing those services to residents.

The remaining $70 million goes into the CASF infrastructure grant account, which, counting the projects approved today by the California Public Utilities Commission, will raise the eventual total to just about $200 million. I say eventual because it could take a while to collect all of it, maybe until 2020 or so.

Hat tip to the California Emerging Technology Fund for the news flash (and quotes), and for all the work they did to push these bills through a very difficult process. Thank you very much!