Cable and telco lobbyists block broadband infrastructure subsidies in California

7 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Money walks when bullshit talks.

A plan to add more money to the main fund used to subsidise broadband infrastructure in California – the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) – is stalled, likely fatally. Assembly bill 238 would also have raised the minimum speed for acceptable service to 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up, once areas with service that doesn’t even meet the current 6 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps up have a shot at upgrading and service at that level is available to 98% of Californian homes.… More

Higher speeds and more money for Californian broadband infrastructure subsidies proposed

6 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Adding money to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) for broadband infrastructure projects and raising the minimum acceptable speed for Californians to 25 Mbps down/3Mbps up is back on the table in Sacramento.

Assembly bill 238, authored by assemblyman Mark Stone (D – Santa Cruz), would do that. It was introduced last year, but put on hold, largely because of opposition from rural interests. The fear was that raising the minimum speed would take money from rural areas – many of which don’t have broadband service available at the current minimum 6 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps – and give it to urban and suburban communities where available service is merely below average, as opposed to being completely substandard.… More

Rural areas get biggest benefit from higher Californian broadband standard

17 November 2015 by Steve Blum
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Another try at raising California’s minimum broadband standard to 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up, from the current 6 Mbps down/1.5 Mbps up level, is gathering momentum in Sacramento. Introduced earlier this year by Santa Cruz assemblyman Mark Stone, assembly bill 238 would have raised the bar both for eligibility requirements for California Advanced Service Fund (CASF) subsidies, and for the infrastructure that’s built using that money. It’s stalled now, due to unexpected opposition from rural interests as well as the usual suspects.… More

Do your own thing is a poor way to plan broadband in California

28 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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“The funding seems to be in silos, how do we break these silos down?”, asked assemblyman Jim Wood (D – Healdsburg) at the first meeting of the assembly’s select committee on the digital divide in California this morning. He was responding to presentations from representatives of organisations that specialise in developing broadband infrastructure for education, health care and public safety agencies. Those networks meet important needs, but for the most part have been, or are being, built with little or no consideration for overall broadband infrastructure development priorities in the state.… More

Harder push for faster broadband speeds in California

23 April 2015 by Steve Blum
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California should raise its minimum standard for broadband, CPUC commissioner Catherine Sandoval said during yesterday’s meeting of the California Broadband Council in Sacramento. The goal “is to the increase the minimum speed that counts as served in California to mirror the FCC’s speed of 25 mbps down and 3 up”, she said. “I think it’s imperative that the state amend its definition”. Sandoval said she’ll be working to do that via existing California Public Utilities Commission processes, and also pointed to a bill sponsored by Santa Cruz legislator Mark Stone – assembly bill 238 – that would do the same thing.… More

Clear and limited mandate proposed for CPUC's broadband oversight role

8 April 2015 by Steve Blum
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OK to open it back up again.

A bill raising broadband standards in California also clears up any confusion about whether state regulators can do the job delegated to them by federal law. Assembly bill 238, authored by assemblyman Mark Stone (D – Santa Cruz), originally focused on upping the minimum acceptable service level to 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up for projects subsidised by the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). As just amended, it still does that, but also…

  • Levels the playing field somewhat for independent Internet service providers and cities and counties that want to chase CASF dollars.

California legislature considers raising broadband standard to 25 Mbps

2 March 2015 by Steve Blum
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Californians can and should go faster.

While we’re waiting for the FCC to let us know what it actually did in its net neutrality and muni broadband decisions last week, let’s take a look at new broadband development bill that’s in the hopper in Sacramento: assembly bill 238, introduced by assemblyman Mark Stone (D – Santa Cruz).

Stone wants to raise the minimum broadband speed in California to meet the FCC’s recently adopted 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up standard.… More