California dig once broadband conduit bill heard and held

2 August 2016 by Steve Blum
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Wasn’t Caltrans supposed to tell us about this?

The California legislature returned from its summer break yesterday, and immediately got to work on broadband-related issues. The big one on the table yesterday was assembly bill 1549.

Testifying in front of the senate appropriations committee, the bill’s author, assemblyman Jim Wood (D – Healdsburg) said that Caltrans isn’t following an executive order by then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directing it to cooperate with broadband development efforts, and was lackadaisical about the one open trench pilot program that it ran…

AB 1549 puts in statute many of the requirements of the executive order from 2006.


California broadband policy bills await action in August

8 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Right after summer break.

Other than the yet-to-be-defined regulatory reform package aimed at overhauling the California Public Utilities Commission, only a handful of telecoms-related bills will remain on the table when the California legislature returns from its month long summer break in August.

Assembly bill 2570 would make it harder for people receiving lifeline telephone subsidies to switch plans by setting a two month waiting period and would require the CPUC to reimburse phone companies relatively quickly or pay penalties.… More

Big okay for California dig once bill

16 June 2016 by Steve Blum
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Broadband infrastructure.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the California senate’s transportation and housing committee approved assembly bill 1549, a proposal carried by north coast assemblyman Jim Wood. I was among those at the hearing and prepared to speak on its behalf, but we took our cue from committee chair Jim Beall (D – Silicon Valley) who, in polite words, hinted there’s no opposition, we’re all in favor, so make it quick. So we did.… More

California dig once bill beefed up

24 May 2016 by Steve Blum
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At least it’s moving again.

Caltrans would have to let broadband companies and other organisations know about opportunities to include conduit in road construction and maintenance projects. If no one bites, then Caltrans would install it. That’s what new dig once amendments to assembly bill 1549 would require, if it becomes law…

  • During the design phase of a department-led highway construction project, the department shall notify verified companies and organizations of the project to encourage collaborative broadband installations.

Two small – for now – broadband bills advance in Sacramento

30 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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One side makes you bigger, one side makes you small…

A move to force Caltrans to play nice with broadband companies – at least, a little nice in little while – and some minor tinkering with the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) infrastructure subsidy program are moving forward in Sacramento.

The state assembly unanimously passed AB 1549, authored by Healdsburg assemblyman Jim Wood. As currently written, it would require Caltrans to make information available about conduit it installs in its own projects.… More

Thousands of broadband projects in California highways every year, but no one's keeping track

13 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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A push to get Caltrans – the California department of transportation – to play nice with broadband companies and publish information about where it has conduit available is moving forward in Sacramento. The assembly transportation committee voted unanimously on Monday to send assembly bill 1549, authored by assemblyman Jim Wood (D – Healdsburg), onward toward a full floor vote. That has to happen by the end of the month, in order to make legislative deadlines.… More

New effort to unlock Caltrans' trove of broadband assets

11 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Don’t even think of it.

There’s a huge difference in time and cost between building a fiber optic network from scratch – digging trenches and installing new conduit – and creating one using existing resources. That’s how Lit San Leandro and the City of Watsonville’s municipal dark fiber network came to be. It’s doable when cities like San Leandro or Watsonville track conduit, and make that information available to the public.

Get outside of a city, though, and it’s a completely different world.… More