Seven regional broadband consortia funded by CPUC


Seven regional broadband consortia grants were approved today by the California Public Utilities Commission. Commissioners voted to allocate a total of $2,310,000 to the Los Angeles County consortium for the three-year grant term. The six others each received about $450,000 each ($150,000 a year for three years).
The major uncertainty going in was the amount of funding that LA would receive. Two different resolutions were on the table: one giving LA $1,346,927, the other $2,310,000. Much of the discussion was about resolving the question of how much LA could get under state law and CPUC rules.
The grants for the other six consortia were all for the legal maximum, and were not controversial. Although the total grant amounts have been approved, only the first year’s funding is guaranteed. Each consortia will have to meet certain requirements at the end of a given year in order to get the next year’s money.
The approved grants are:
  • Central Coast Broadband Consortium: Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz. $450,000.
  • East Bay Broadband Consortium: Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano. $450,000.
  • Los Angeles County Regional Broadband Consortia: Los Angeles County – 5 distinct sub-regions under the LACRBC umbrella.
  • Northeastern California Connect Consortium: Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama. $449,991.
  • Redwood Coast Connect: Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, Trinity. $450,000.
  • San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium (California State University, Fresno): San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern. $450,000.
  • Upstate California Connect Consortium: Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sonoma. $448,184.
There are seven more consortia grants in the pipeline, all are for the maximum $450,000, three year total: the Capital (Sacramento) area, Gold County, eastern Sierra, central Sierra, Inland Empire, San Diego/Imperial and an additional, smaller proposal for LA County.

More information about all the consortia, including counties served, project descriptions and contact information is available here.

About Steve Blum

Steve Blum is president of Tellus Venture Associates, a management, planning and business development consultancy for municipal and community broadband initiatives. He is a 30-year industry veteran and an expert in developing new broadband infrastructure and services, including wireless, fiber optic and satellite systems. His career includes playing key roles in the launch and growth of DirecTv in the U.S., as well as other satellite broadcasting platforms around the world. For the past ten years, he has helped build municipal wireless and fiber optic broadband systems. His client list includes many California cities, such as San Leandro, Palo Alto, Oakland, Los Angeles, Lompoc and Folsom. He’s a member of the executive team for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium and has worked with other regional consortia in California. Steve is the author of seven books on the Internet and satellite broadcasting and is a frequent contributor to professional journals and industry events. He holds an A.B. in History from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in East Asia Studies from the University of Washington, and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas. He is a triathlete and multiple Ironman finisher, and is currently ranked in the top 100 of the Challenge Triathlon world rankings, out of more than 30,000 athletes.