At least $230 million in grant and loan proposals were sent to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) yesterday, and more is to come. I’ve seen a total of 29 projects from 15 different organizations. Most of the requests – almost $229 million – are for grants, but half a dozen also requested loans totaling nearly $2 million.
The CPUC doesn’t have that much money in the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). They have something like $150 million left of their original authorization, but probably only about half that is in the bank. So the winnowing process is likely to be contentious.
I’m expecting to see one other project in the $13 million range and there might be more. Information is coming via a email circulation list, and it’s not foolproof. One of the emails, from Shasta County Telecom, forgot to include the amount, but it looks like a small project, in the low six figures if that, so it won’t move the needle much.
If you assume that everyone made the maximum grant request of 60% of construction costs, we’re looking at $381 million in total project spending proposed.
Tellus Venture Associates is helping three of the applicants: Bright Fiber Network, Pinnacles Telephone Company and Surfnet. So I’m not exactly a disinterested source of information. But I’ll keep updating.