California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff are recommending approval of the remaining seven regional broadband consortia grant requests. The full commission is set to vote on the recommendation at its 16 February 2012 meeting.
In December, the commission funded the first seven of the fifteen applications it received and rejected another that did not meet minimum application requirements. The remaining seven consortia were provisionally endorsed, but told to work with CPUC staff to further develop their proposals, particularly where definitions of deliverables were concerned.
Six of the seven are regional consortia that were nurtured by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), which accounted for thirteen out of the original applications. All of the CETF-backed applicants have either been funded by CPUC through the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) or are on the list for approval on the 16th. One independent applicant from Los Angeles County – the California’s One Million New Internet User Coalition – is also on track for funding. The legislation that set aside CASF money for regional consortia allowed for higher funding and multiple projects in Los Angeles County. The CETF-backed consortium in LA was funded in the first round.
First year funding of $150,000 (or near to it) would be approved for the remaining seven applicants if the draft resolution is adopted as is, with second and third year funding dependent on performance. The total, three-year amounts of the seven grants that the commission will consider are:
- California’s One Million New Internet User Coalition – $450,000
- Central Sierra Connect Broadband Consortium – $450,000
- Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium – $448,301
- Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium – $450,000
- Gold Country Broadband Consortium – $450,000
- Inland Empire Regional Broadband Consortium – $450,000
- San Diego Imperial Regional Broadband Consortium – $450,000
More information about the regional consortia, including geographic coverage, is available here.