Tag Archives: sb1130

Two broadband subsidy bills face California legislators. One walks away, the other limps

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Liberty and the duke 625

Both of the active broadband bills in the California legislature survived committee hearings yesterday. The bill with higher broadband standards passed without changes. Slower speed standards in a rival, pork-stuffed measure were sharply criticised. It has to overcome double barrelled skepticism before it moves much further.

Senate bill 1130, authored by senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles), would raise California’s minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds. The assembly communications and conveyances committee approved it as presented.

On the other hand, assembly bill 570, which would freeze California’s standard at 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up, met with significant push back from the senate energy, utilities and communications committee, despite extensive (and largely unhelpful) amendments agreed by its author, assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry. It was approved on a largely party line vote, but several democrats criticised the bill’s slow speed standard and put Aguiar-Curry on notice to work out her differences with Gonzalez.

Senator Henry Stern (D – Los Angeles) pointedly abstained, which has the same effect as voting no. Senator Scott Wiener (D – San Francisco) ripped state investments in “outdated technology and infrastructure”. As a result, we have “terrible, horrible service, and it’s slow and it’s glitchy”, he said. “And yet we’re expecting people to learn and go to work and do everything else”.

SB 1130 also passed on a near party line vote – nine democrats in favor, three republicans opposed. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, a democrat from Orange County, abstained, making the real tally nine for and four against.

There was a fair bit of confusion during the SB 1130 hearing, some of it accidental, some of it seemingly not. The accidental confusion came when Gonzalez mistakenly said, more than once, that the broadband standard in the bill is 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. As the vote neared, it wasn’t clear which service level was on the table. Committee chair Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles) stepped in and settled the question beyond any doubt: the standard is 25 Mbps down/25 Mbps up.

The not-so-accidental confusion was spread by Kara Bush, a staff lobbyist for Charter Communications, and Carolyn McIntyre, the head of the Sacramento lobbying front for Charter, as well as Comcast, Cox Communications and other monopoly model incumbents. They made the nonsensical claim that setting symmetrical 25 Mbps broadband service as the minimum standard really meant that they would have to offer a service package at exactly 25 Mbps down/25 Mbps up, and that Charter’s 940 Mbps down/35 Mbps package wouldn’t qualify. This isn’t either one’s first rodeo – they know how the CASF program works. Any service tier at or above 25 Mbps each way would qualify, including Charter’s 940 Mbps/35 Mbps package. If Charter can deliver it. Which might be the whole reason for yesterday’s deception.

Both bills head to appropriations committees – SB 1130 in the assembly, AB 570 in the senate. The deadline for those committees to act is 21 August 2020.

Dueling broadband bills face off in California legislature today

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Clint

Fast, reliable, future-proof broadband gets a hearing this morning as the California assembly’s communications and conveyances committee (C&C) takes up senate bill 1130. A competing measure – assembly bill 570 – which would lock rural Californians into 1990s DSL technology for another decade or two, will be heard by the senate’s energy, utilities and communications committee (EU&C) this afternoon.

So far, there’s no indication of legislative pushback on SB 1130, which is authored by senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles). The analysis by C&C staff doesn’t recommend any changes, although amendments could be introduced at the meeting. On the other hand, EU&C staff’s analysis of AB 570 proposes to make an already complicated and poorly written bill even more byzantine.

Both bills propose to change the way the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) is run. CASF is California’s primary broadband infrastructure subsidy program. It was originally intended to bring modern broadband infrastructure to (mostly) rural communities that had been passed over by AT&T, Comcast, Charter Communications, Frontier Communications and other monopoly model Internet service providers. Three years ago, those companies slammed changes through the legislature, including lowering California’s minimum broadband service standard to 6 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds.

They don’t like SB 1130, which would raise that standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds, a service level that requires either full fiber to the home service or the most advanced (and fully provisioned) version of cable modem technology. Besides lobbying lawmakers to reject SB 1130, they prevailed (via the California Emerging Technology Fund) upon assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Yolo) to gut an affordable housing bill and amend it to reconfirm 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up as California’s minimum broadband standard and, by the way, dole out pork to themselves and their friends.

Make no mistake: they don’t like AB 570 much either. It’s a tactical move intended to sufficiently confuse the broadband policy debate and kill off SB 1130.

Remote participation is allowed by C&C and by EU&C. call in numbers should be posted on their respective websites. The C&C hearing starts at 11:00 a.m.; the EU&C hearing is scheduled to begin as soon as the senate completes its business this afternoon, which could be anytime from 2:00 pm. on.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Small payoffs from big cable, telcos buy support from non profits and politicians in Sacramento and D.C.

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Need a beer

Petty cash can be as effective in buying political support as megabuck payments to elected officials and political parties. The latest example is unfolding in Washington, D.C., where Charter Communications is asking the Federal Communications Commission for permission to 1. enforce data caps on its customers and 2. start charging video competitors for access to those customers two years before the expiration of conditions imposed when it acquired Time Warner cable systems.

It’s the same story with assembly bill 570, which would lock Californians into slow broadband for a generation while shovelling taxpayer money to Frontier Communications and cable companies for minimal upgrades. Non profits are being actively recruited to sign on as supporters.

Some of the pay offs are in the tens of thousands of dollars range, but even a couple hundred bucks is enough to buy a letter of support. Whenever AT&T or companies – Charter and Comcast, particularly – want something from California lawmakers, they supplement their direct payments with testimony from a parade of non-profit organisations that have no discernible expertise or engagement with telecommunications policy.

As well told in an article in Ars Technica by Jon Brodkin, non profit organisations and politicians take Charter’s money and return the favor by arguing Charter’s case for early release from its FCC obligations…

Alongside the angry users of Spectrum Internet service are a number of politicians and charities urging the FCC to grant the petition. Charter has donated to these nonprofits and politicians, and it has apparently made a big outreach effort to get their public support for the petition. Many of the letters to the FCC echo Charter’s argument that it shouldn’t be treated differently from other Internet providers that don’t face such conditions—even though Charter willingly agreed to them in order to secure approval for a merger that made it the second-largest ISP in the United States after Comcast. The letters from nonprofits and politicians ignore the negative impact data caps would have on broadband customers.

The letters continue a years-long trend in which ISPs have been donating to charities and receiving their support in lobbying campaigns to complete mergers and eliminate consumer-protection regulations.

Reply comments on Charter’s FCC petition are due next Thursday. AB 570 comes up for a hearing the California senate’s energy, utilities and communications committee on Monday. A competing broadband bill, senate bill 1130, which would raise California’s minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps speeds, is also queued up for a hearing on Monday, in the assembly’s communications and conveyances committee.

I assisted the City of Gonzales with its efforts at the CPUC during the Time Warner Cable acquisition review, and its negotiations with Charter. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Symmetrical 25 Mbps broadband standard back on track in California assembly

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Fiber patch panel sab photo 625

Funding for fast, reliable broadband service for all Californians gets a hearing on Monday in the California assembly. Senate bill 1130 was supposed to heard by the communications and conveyances committee this week, but was delayed by a political turf war between assembly and senate leadership.

SB 1130 pegs symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds as California’s residential broadband standard. It’s not a promise of full fiber-based service, but it’s close. Light years closer than the ridiculous 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps minimum that California suffers from now, and that a rival measure pushed by cable and telephone companies would bake into law.

An area that lacks broadband service of at least 25Mbps down/25 Mbps up would be eligible for California Advanced Service Fund grants. Any infrastructure that’s built with CASF subsidies has to be capable of delivering that level of service or better to homes and businesses.

It’s a significant improvement from the version of SB 1130 that was approved by the California senate. Language was deleted that merely encouraged grant recipients to build systems that can deliver a minimum of 100 Mbps down/100 Mbps up – fiber to the premise networks, in other words. More importantly, a hard 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up construction standard is also gone. It would have allowed telcos to spend CASF money on patching decaying, 1990s style DSL systems.

In theory, cable companies can meet the 25 Mbps down/25 Mbps up standard with current DOCSIS 3.1 technology, which is already widely deployed (and often insufficiently provisioned) in California. Otherwise, CASF-subsidised infrastructure will necessarily be all fiber, or nearly so. Wireless networks can deliver symmetrical 25 Mbps service, but only reliably to a relative handful of customers in any given area. AT&T, Frontier Communications and the resellers – competitive local exchange carriers – that lease facilities from them can juice up copper lines for a (high paying) customer here and there, but not on a mass consumer market basis.

Any middle mile networks built with CASF grants would have to be made available to all comers on an open access, wholesale basis. At least to an extent. The California Public Utilities Commission would be able to limit the open access obligation, if not eliminate it completely, if it is deemed unnecessary or if impedes a company’s ability to “recover [its] investment costs”.

Thanks to the covid–19 emergency, the public can participate in legislative committee hearings remotely. If you want to add your voice to the debate, the call in number will be posted on the communications and conveyances committee’s webpage just before Monday’s 11:00 a.m. hearing. A second broadband-related bill – SB 431 – is on the agenda. It would require mobile carriers to install back up power in high fire threat areas and, among other things, maintain customers’ web browsing capability during power failures.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Telcos, cable delete fiber, add more pork to rival broadband subsidy bill in California legislature

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Pure pork night 625

Frontier Communications grabs a bankruptcy bailout and cable companies get subsidies to reach high income homes in the latest version of assembly bill 570, posted on the California legislature’s website on Monday. It’s big telecom’s alternative to senate bill 1130, which would raise California’s minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps fiber-ish speeds.

AB 570 is authored by assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Yolo). Through the end of last year, she collected $83,000 from companies in the communications and electronics sector, including $24,000 from AT&T and $12,000 from Comcast, Charter Communications and other cable companies, according to the FollowTheMoney.org website. That’s more than some of the members of key telecom policy committees in the California legislature were paid by industry lobbyists.

Big cable companies slipped in a small change into AB 570 that could bring them big, taxpayer-subsidised profits. The last time monopoly-model incumbents rewrote CASF rules, they allowed cable companies to launder grant money through consumers via a “line extension program”. The California Public Utilities Commission now limits eligibility to low income homes. That restriction would disappear, per Monday’s version.

The bill still locks Californians into slow, 1990s style Internet service – if the best you can get is 6 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, then you are deemed to be sufficiently served. If you don’t have that level of service available, then Frontier could get money from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to upgrade you to something that’s “adequate to support distance learning and telework”, according to the latest amendments to AB 570. Which might mean 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up – that DSL speed tier gets priority over costlier but faster technology in the bill – or it could mean slower speeds.

With minimal central office upgrades, Frontier can push 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up speeds to nearby customers via its decaying copper networks. Homes further down the line will get much slower adequate speeds. AT&T could do the same, but in recent years it hasn’t gone after CASF grants.

Aguiar-Curry is AB 570’s nominal author, but it’s ghostwritten by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a non-profit funded and advised by major cable and telephone companies. The new version of the bill sets up CETF for a $500,000 a year contract to manage broadband subscription sales programs, which are also subsidised by CASF.

The California senate’s energy, utilities and communications committee is the next stop for AB 570. Whether it gets heard at the committee’s scheduled meeting on Monday will partly depend on how assembly and senate leaders resolve their current turf war.

Update, 29 July 2020: The senate energy, utilities and communications committee put AB 570 on the agenda for its Monday, 3 August 2020 meeting. It’ll happen after the senate floor session is over. That probably means late afternoon, after the assembly communications and conveyances committee votes on senate bill 1130.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

The usual faces aren’t in the usual places, so California legislature stalls broadband bills

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Chp horses capitol 3feb2016

A political pissing match between the California senate and assembly will delay action on a bill that aims to raise California’s broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload speeds. Senate bill 1130, authored by Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles) was one of only two bills scheduled to be heard this morning by the assembly’s communications and conveyances committee.

The other is SB 431. Carried by Mike McGuire (D – Sonoma), it would require mobile carriers to install back up generators at their cell sites in high fire threat areas, and maintain service, including “basic internet browsing for emergency notices” during disasters and power outages – purposeful or not.

All of today’s assembly committee hearings were cancelled late yesterday by assembly speaker Anthony Rendon (D – Los Angeles). He sent out a message to assembly members, which was retweeted by John Myers, Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times

Members –

I want to alert you that I am concerned about the imbalance of bills yet to be considered in each house. In order to facilitate discussions with the Senate, I am delaying tomorrow’s Assembly hearings. There will be no Assembly committee meetings tomorrow.

We have important work in front of us and I am confident that we will come together to work on behalf of the people of California.

Thank you

Anthony

Translation: if the senate trashes our bills because they’re jammed for time, we’ll show them what it really feels like to be jammed.

The legislature came back to Sacramento yesterday (I was about to write “came back to work”, but thought better of it) after a second covid–19 shutdown. They have a bit more than a month to get through hundreds of bills. Most of the bills authored by senators are in the assembly now, and most of the assembly bills are in the senate. Which might seem like an equitable division of work, except that there are twice as many assembly members as senators, and twice as many assembly bills. Under normal circumstances, the fact that half as many senators have to work through twice as many bills isn’t a problem – it evens out eventually. But things are not normal this year.

Stay tuned.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Fast, reliable broadband considered by California lawmakers. AT&T, Comcast, Charter pay millions to say no

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Money case 625

When members of the California assembly’s communications and conveyances committee take their seats tomorrow, they’ll be looking out at – actually or virtually – big telecoms lobbyists that 1. pay millions of dollars for laws they love and 2. hate the two broadband bills that are on the covid-shortened agenda. Senate bill 1130 raises California minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds, and SB 431 imposes back up power and web browsing requirements on mobile carriers (but not on cable company VoIP or telcos’ ersatz wireless broadband, thanks to those same lobbyists).

The twelve members of the C&C committee pocketed a total of $1.7 million from the communications and electronics sector over the course of their legislative careers, according to data from the Follow the Money website. That doesn’t yet include money paid during this election year. Much of it comes from AT&T – the top contributor in the sector – and cable companies, such as Comcast and Charter Communications, which together take second place. Members of the California senate’s energy, utilities and communications committee have raked in even more cash.

Miguel Santiago (D – Los Angeles) chairs C&C, and has used the authority that goes with the job to keep his patrons happy. When a network neutrality bill – SB 822 – was under consideration two years ago, he strong armed killer amendments into it, pleasing telcos and cable companies, but enraging online opinion. The ensuing meme storm forced him to back down. That was unusual, though. Typically, he follows the monopoly model telecom playbook, except when organised labor – an even bigger benefactor – objects.

Through the end of last year, AT&T paid Santiago $43,000, including $10,000 via a side organisation – sometimes referred to as a ballot measure committee – that Santiago operates. It allows him to get around legal limits on direct payments. Comcast, Charter and other cable companies have matched that, with $43,000 paid between them (all totals are rounded and include payments from affiliates now owned or controlled by cable and telco parents). Mobile companies (other than AT&T) gave Santiago $25,000 and Frontier kicked in $9,000. All up, Santiago has raked in $262,000 from companies and individuals in the communications and electronics sector.

Evan Low (D – Santa Clara), who also does a good day’s work for AT&T, does even better than Santiago. Industry payments to Low total $351,000 – more than anyone else on the C&C committee. He represents a slice of Silicon Valley, and collects a lot of that money from tech companies. But big telecom pays him handsomely, too. He’s taken $58,000 from AT&T, including $18,000 to his slush fund ballot measure committee. Comcast, Charter and other cable companies put $47,000 in Low’s pocket, other mobile interests gave him $22,000 and Frontier paid him $4,000.

Eduardo Garcia (D – Imperial), Santiago’s other reliable wingman on the committee, has been paid $107,000 by communications and electronics industry interests, but most of it – $79,000 – came from big telecom. He doesn’t have a side hustle – yet – so those are all direct payments. Garcia took $29,000 from AT&T, $4,000 from Frontier, $34,000 from Charter, Comcast and other cable companies, and $13,000 from the mobile industry (ex AT&T). On the other hand, Garcia has signed on as a co-author of SB 1130 – we’ll soon find other whether it’s for good or ill.

The covid-19 restrictions in force at the state capitol mean that remote public participation is allowed. The call-in number is supposed to be posted on the committee’s website tomorrow morning, ahead of the 10:00 a.m. scheduled starting time.

Legislative career payments from communications and electronics industry sector, as of 31 December 2019

California assembly communications and conveyance committee members
Miguel Santiago (chair)D – Los Angeles$252,258
Jay Obernolte (vice chair)R – San Bernardino$127,941
Tasha Boerner HorvathD – San Diego$40,850
Rob BontaD – Alameda$201,249
Sabrina CervantesD – Riverside$62,100
Eduardo GarciaD – Imperial$107,125
Chris HoldenD – Los Angeles$249,318
Sydney Kamlager-DoveD – Los Angeles$69,455
Evan LowD – Santa Clara$333,184
Jim PattersonR – Fresno$135,725
Sharon Quirk-SilvaD – Orange$84,248
Freddie RodriguezD – Los Angeles$79,567
$1,743,020
California senate energy, utilities and communications committee members
Ben Hueso (chair)D – San Diego$185,663
John Moorlach (vice chair)R – San Diego$68,000
Steven BradfordD – Los Angeles$372,632
Ling Ling ChangR – Orange$117,208
Brian DahleR – Lassen$187,548
Bill DoddD – Napa$149,584
Bob HertzbergD – Los Angeles$347,212
Jerry HillD – San Mateo$290,366
Mike McGuireD – Sonoma$78,169
Susan RubioD – Los Angeles$24,449
Nancy SkinnerD – Alameda$264,803
Henry SternD – Los Angeles$185,385
Scott WienerD – San Francisco$294,031
$2,565,050
Grand Total$4,308,070
Source: FollowTheMoney.org, California secretary of state’s office

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Democrats in D.C. and Sacramento in sync on fast fiber for broadband. So far

by Steve Blum • , , ,

Sunesys build freedom blvd 625

If you can’t get high quality broadband service with at least 25 Mbps download and upload speeds, then you’re unserved according to a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill passed on a partisan vote by democrats in the federal house of representatives. $80 billion of that money is set aside for broadband service upgrades, with symmetrical 100 Mbps service considered the minimum acceptable and preference given to subsidised projects that deliver 1 Gbps down and up.

Unlike California, republicans matter in D.C. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) scoffed at the house infrastructure bill, saying “naturally this nonsense is not going anywhere”. That doesn’t take meaningful broadband subsidies off the table, though. With unemployment at historic levels in an election year, a big, job-creating infrastructure bill will be popular on both sides of the aisle.

The 25 Mbps down/up eligibility standard and the 100 Mbps down/up construction standard track with a bill that’s moving through the California legislature. Senate bill 1130 doesn’t go quite that far – symmetrical 100 Mbps infrastructure is a goal, not a requirement – but even with the weasel words it’s a quantum leap from California’s pitiful 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up minimum. It’s the difference between 1990s DSL and 2020s fiber.

So far, California democrats have stayed in sync with their Washington, D.C. colleagues. All California senate democrats voted in favor of SB 1130, along with a lone republican. The bill was sent over to the assembly and is on track for a hearing in the communications and conveyances committee.

The big question is whether democrats on the committee – 10 out of 12 members – follow the party line or channel their inner GOP animal spirits, as they have on broadband subsidies and network neutrality in the past. The committee was scheduled to consider SB 1130 next week, but it’s on indefinite hold now, with the legislature shut down until further notice because of a covid–19 outbreak in the capitol.

Short broadband to-do list for California legislators upon return from summer vacation

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

California lawmakers are taking an abbreviated summer break. They usually leave Sacramento for a month around July, but since they were off for so long earlier this year due to covid-19 and because of the uncertain condition of the state budget, their effective vacation was trimmed back to less than two weeks. They’re scheduled to return to the capitol a week from today. When they return, they’ll have just a handful of broadband-related bills to act on.

The assembly’s incumbent-friendly communications and conveyances committee is scheduled to take up senate bill 1130 next Tuesday, the day after the legislature reconvenes. SB 1130, carried by Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles) would raise California’s minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download and upload speeds, and make other useful changes to the California Advanced Services Fund. An opposing bill, assembly bill 570, that tracks with talking points pushed by cable and telephone company lobbyists, is headed for the senate’s energy, utilities and communications committee. AB 570 is authored by Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Yolo), would cement in the current, pitiful 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps up standard and make other changes to the California Advanced Services Fund that suit incumbents with monopoly business models and deep pockets full of cash for pliable legislators.

SB 431, authored by Mike McGuire (D – Sonoma) has been stalled in the assembly communications and conveyances committee for more than a year, but is now scheduled for a hearing next Tuesday. Given the monied interests it offends, its prospects are dim. SB 432 would give the California Public Utilities Commission explicit instructions to established reliability standards for telephone, cable and mobile companies, and any other Internet service provider in high fire threat areas. Fortunately, the CPUC isn’t waiting for explicit instructions.

AB 2421, by Bill Quirk (D – Alameda) would require cities and counties to issue permits for back up generators at macro cell sites, following a minimal and expedited review. Those generators would also be exempt from California Environmental Quality Act requirements. AB 2421 was passed unanimously by the assembly in June, and is queued up in the senate.

Other broadband policy bills could appear as the legislature works towards adjournment at the end of August, but for now it’s a short list.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.

Bill to beat down broadband subsidy program drops in California assembly

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

Liberty valence 625

It was long expected. On Monday, assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Yolo) gutted an affordable housing bill and substituted text that would, if enacted, reaffirm that California’s broadband standard is stuck in the 1990s at 6 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, and make it even more difficult to use the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to bring modern service to rural communities.

Assembly bill 570 is the cable and telephone industry’s response to senate bill 1130, which is carried by senator Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles) and would raise California’s minimum broadband speed to a symmetrical 25 Mbps down and up. The AB 570 language tracks with talking points pushed by Comcast’s and Charter Communications’ Sacramento lobbying front, the California Cable and Telecommunications Associations (CCTA), and parroted by the California Emerging Technology Fund, a non-profit that takes its money from cable and phone companies these days.

They’ll be the big winners even if all AB 570 does is kill off SB 1130.

But it might go farther than that. AB 570 would also allow government agencies to tap into CASF and use it to backfill information technology and telecoms budgets. Up until now, CASF’s primary job has been to pay for upgrading rural broadband infrastructure, at least when it wasn’t being gamed by incumbents. The perilous condition of state and local government finances this year will make any new source of operating revenue very attractive to lawmakers.

That’s just in case the millions of dollars they’re paid by the likes of AT&T, Frontier, mobile companies and the cable industry isn’t sufficient motivation to embrace AB 570.

Aguiar-Curry rubbished SB 1130 during a California Forward-sponsored broadband policy webinar in May, even though she said she hadn’t read it yet. She was also a key backer of 2017’s AB 1665, which lowered California’s broadband standard to 6 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up, and turned CASF into a piggy bank for monopoly model incumbents.

This time, she’s taking the lead.

I’ve advocated for SB 1130, and for other useful changes to CASF. I am involved and proud of it. I am not a disinterested commentator. Take it for what it’s worth.