California broadband infrastructure grant requests total $533 million as challenge period opens

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Two more broadband project proposals surfaced as the California Public Utilities Commission posted the official list of applications for grants from the California Advanced Services Fund. One is for what appears to be a neighborhood fiber to the premise (FTTP) system in Nevada County, the other is an FTTP project that covers the same Placer County area that Charter Communications proposed for a hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) build.

The total now stands at 54 projects asking for a total of $533 million, about twice what’s available in the CASF kitty now. The entire list is below, but for future reference, I’ve also posted here, and will update that page as necessary.

Exwire, a Truckee-based wireless Internet service provider, wants to enter the wireline world by building an FTTP system in the Kingswood area of Lake Tahoe. It would serve, its application says, “240 homes and 110 unbuilt lots”. The ask is $4.5 million, or $19,000 per existing home. The public summary doesn’t say how much of its own money it proposes to put into the project, if any at all.

Charter Communications is also asking for a CASF grant to extend its Tahoe cable system to the Kingswood area. It’s requesting $1.2 million to pay the entire tab for building out HFC plant to 120 homes, at a cost of $10,000 each. Exwire proposes to serve what looks like a larger area, but its application also notes that the CPUC classifies some of it as already having broadband service, at least at the achingly slow level of 6 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds that the California legislature thinks is perfectly adequate. Exwire disputes the CPUC’s finding.

Nevada County Broadband – an apparently newly formed company – is asking for $552,000 – 94% of the total – to build an FTTP system in two small residential pockets in the mountains outside of Nevada City. They propose serving 50 homes at a cost of $11,000 each.

By posting all 54 applications and maps, the CPUC also kicks off a three week window for incumbent providers to challenge the proposals by submitting information that shows they’re already providing service in project areas. At that miserable 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up level.

CASF Project Proposals – 4 May 2020 Grant Application Window

Bella VistaCharter$715,35660$11,923ShastaHFC
BrooksideCharter$933,563243$3,842Los AngelesHFC
Country MeadowsCharter$2,165,515314$6,897San BernardinoHFC
Darlene RoadCharter$815,9677$116,567VenturaHFC
El Dorado EstatesCharter$1,477,032276$5,352VenturaHFC
Foothill TerraceCharter$489,513327$1,497Los AngelesHFC
Kingswood EstatesCharter$1,210,006120$10,083PlacerHFC
Los AlisosCharter$1,299,530451$2,881OrangeHFC
Monterey ManorCharter$796,19892$8,654San BernardinoHFC
Mountain ShadowsCharter$2,006,811132$15,203San BernardinoHFC
Oxnard PacificCharter$1,725,964171$10,093VenturaHFC
Plaza VillageCharter$658,436178$3,699OrangeHFC
River OaksCharter$829,46245$18,432San BenitoHFC
Soboda SpringsCharter$983,817249$3,951RiversideHFC
Villa MontclairCharter$548,27964$8,567San BernardinoHFC
Butte YubaDigital Path$872,761582$1,500Butte, YubaWireless
Fresno CountyDigital Path$448,349299$1,499FresnoWireless
Glenn CountyDigital Path$361,500241$1,500GlennWireless
Lake CountyDigital Path$123,00082$1,500LakeWireless
Mendocino CountyDigital Path$138,00092$1,500MendocinoWireless
Plumas LassenDigital Path$865,000577$1,499Plumas, LassenWireless
Sacramento CountyDigital Path$230,000154$1,494SacramentoWireless
Sierra CountyDigital Path$241,000161$1,497SierraWireless
Siskiyou CountyDigital Path$138,00092$1,500SiskiyouWireless
Sutter PlacerDigital Path$418,433277$1,511SutterWireless
Tehama CountyDigital Path$935,976624$1,500TehamaWireless
Central CoastEtheric$3,180,3301,976$1,609Monterey, San BenitoWireless
Kingswood WestExwire$4,464,478240$18,602PlacerFTTP
Crescent CityFrontier$1,586,885134$11,842Del NorteFTTP
CuyamaFrontier$12,462,755131$95,136Kern, Santa BarbaraFTTP
Knights LandingFrontier$4,590,845104$44,143Colusa, Sutter, YoloFTTP
Lake IsabellaFrontier$9,595,168405$23,692KernFTTP
Mad RiverFrontier$8,169,979203$40,246Humboldt, TrinityFTTP
Northeast Phase 2Frontier$10,358,969502$20,635Plumas, TehamaFTTP
Smith RiverFrontier$1,428,47955$25,972Del NorteFTTP
Hoopa ValleyHunter$8,233,3401,198$6,873HumboldtFTTP, wireless
Mendocino CountyHunter$290,327,9405,870$49,460MendocinoFTTP, wireless
Buckeye/BannerNevada County Fiber$589,64850$11,793NevadaFTTP
Long ValleyPlumas Sierra$4,118,25554$76,264PlumasFTTP
Mohawk ValleyPlumas Sierra$2,271,03954$42,056PlumasFTTP
PortolaPlumas Sierra$2,587,67785$30,443PlumasFTTP
Scott RoadPlumas Sierra$4,307,47588$48,949Lassen, SierraFTTP
Sierra ValleyPlumas Sierra$5,123,342283$18,104Plumas, SierraFTTP, wireless
Southern LassenPlumas Sierra$13,630,662868$15,704LassenFTTP
Gigafy ArbuckleRace$4,241,181480$8,836ColusaFTTP
Gigafy Backus 2Race$4,702,649266$17,679KernFTTP
Gigafy Nevada CityRace$6,154,776499$12,334NevadaFTTP
Gigafy WilliamsRace$6,758,805588$11,495ColusaFTTP
Sonoma/NapaWeb Perception$1,450,697504$2,878Napa. SonomaWireless
West Sonoma CountyWiConduit$81,886,0951,342$61,018SonomaFTTP

The Central Coast Broadband Consortium (CCBC) supported Charter’s San Benito County proposal and assisted Etheric Networks with its application. The Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium (CCABC) assisted DigitalPath. I assisted the CCBC and the CCABC, and also kibitzed on other projects. I’m not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.