Most California Counties Represented in Broadband Consortia Grant Applications

by Steve Blum • , ,

The California Public Utilities Commission has released some information about the regional broadband consortia that filed applications in the initial round of funding from the California Advanced Services Fund. Fifteen consortia made the 22 August 2011 filing deadline, and are in line to be considered for planning and organizational grants totaling $150,000 per year for up to three years. 

The applications come from all over the state. Of the 58 counties in California, only nine – Napa, Marina, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange – have been left out completely.

On the other hand, there are relatively few overlaps. The community broadband cooperative based in the small town of Camino filed an application for an area in eldorado County that the five-county Gold Country Broadband Consortium also has its eyes on. The CPUC has said that it will only make one grant in any given geographic region. The Gold Country group is also aiming to cover Sierra, Nevada, Placer and eastern Alpine Counties.

Eastern Sierra Connect has filed for eastern Kern County (along with Mono and Inyo Counties), while the San Joaquin Regional Broadband Consortium has filed for a swath of the Central Valley stretching from San Joaquin County to Kern. It’s very possible those two groups will be able to work out a way to split Kern County, if they haven’t already done so.

It also looks as if Los Angeles County has two competing groups. The CPUC is treating Los Angeles County differently from the rest, allowing applications for sub-regions. The Los Angeles County Regional Broadband Consortium has filed an application on behalf of five sub-regions, while a group calling itself California’s One Million New Internet User’s Coalition is applying to fund what the CPUC describes as “various hubs in [the] Los Angeles area.”

The remaining applications come from:

  • Northeastern California Connect Consortium: Butte, Lassen, Modoc, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama.
  • Upstate California Connect Consortium: Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Sonoma.
  • Redwood Coast Connect: Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, Trinity.
  • Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium: Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba.
  • Central Sierra Connect Consortia: Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Western Alpine.
  • East Bay Broadband Consortium: Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano.
  • Central Coast Broadband Consortium: Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito.
  • Inland Empire Regional Broadband Consortium: San Bernardino, Riverside.
  • San Diego Imperial Regional Broadband Consortium: San Diego, Imperial.

There’s no word on when the CPUC will decide on who gets funding and for how much, but they have promised a rapid review.