Ready for the CPUC vote on regional broadband consortia this morning

1 December 2011 by Steve Blum
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The meeting starts at 9:00 a.m. The two consortia resolutions come up later in the agenda, item 47. As of last night, the item was still on the table, however once the meeting starts, it’s possible that a commissioner could ask that it be held over to a later meeting. There’s no particular reason to think that might happen, though.
I’ll post here as soon as I can after the vote. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter: SteveBlum. I’ll tweet updates as we go. Check my California regional broadband consortia page later in the morning for a full run-down on the vote and details on the individual consortia. That’s after the vote: until then, clicking on the link will just bring you back here. 
There’s broad, general support for the program as outlined in the two competing resolutions. The difference between the two, and the main point of contention for those filing comments and in the commission’s responses to those filings, is how much money to give to Los Angeles County: $1,346,927 over three years (as the primary resolution proposes) or $2,310,000 (as the alternate would have it).
There was a flurry of activity yesterday as successive revisions to the alternate were posted on the CPUC’s website. Each revision made an incrementally stronger case for giving LA the larger amount. Which means at least someone on the commission is leaning that way. The question for this morning is whether three out of the five commissioners are so inclined.
Otherwise, the funding proposal is virtually unchanged from the draft that was circulated a month ago. Besides LA, six other regional consortia should be getting three years of funding at about $150,000 per year each. Central Coast, Redwood Coast, San Joaquin Valley, Northeastern California, Upstate (generally, north-central counties) and the East Bay should secure funding today.
The remaining seven will likely have to wait a couple more months. It’s very likely, though, that they’ll receive similar funding once they’ve revised their proposals to meet CPUC spec.