AT&T not on FCC’s list of potential RDOF bidders, but 505 others are

3 September 2020 by Steve Blum
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Paicines pole route

AT&T is not on the list of 505 would-be rural broadband subsidy bidders released by the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday. It’s also not listed as a member of any of the 38 consortia – bidding groups – and none of the other 467 contenders are obviously AT&T subsidiaries. None of the FCC registration numbers directly held by AT&T match up to any of the listed bidders either.

It’s difficult to prove a negative, but so far it appears that absence of evidence is also evidence of absence.… More

CPUC adds California money to federal broadband subsidy bids. If

7 August 2020 by Steve Blum
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Cvin fiber marker sr49

Internet service providers might get California help to improve their chances at winning in the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. Broadband infrastructure subsidies from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) could be added to their bids, per yesterday’s decision by the California Public Utilities Commission.


If commission staff opens a second window for CASF grant applications quickly enough. If those proposals leverage RDOF money. And, particularly, if there’s any money left in the fund.… More

California tops up federal broadband subsidy bids, as FCC trims RDOF eligibility list

30 June 2020 by Steve Blum
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Pouring wine

Californian communities lost potential broadband subsidy money last week, but might have gained some back yesterday. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission eliminated 48,000 “locations” – homes, businesses, community facilities – in what appears to be 3,100 census blocks from the preliminary eligibility list for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), following a review of tens of thousands of challenges from incumbent broadband providers who wanted to freeze out potential competitors. I say “appears to be” because the FCC’s numbers don’t line up with census bureau stats – that discrepancy should be resolved eventually.… More

One California rural broadband subsidy bill goes to the governor, another moves on to the assembly

29 June 2020 by Steve Blum
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Cvin fiber marker sr49

Friday was a good day for broadband at the California capitol, as two bills expanding eligibility for infrastructure subsidies won lopsided votes. Senate bill 1130 was approved by the senate, and now awaits action in the assembly. Following senate approval on Thursday, assembly bill 82 was blessed by the assembly and is now on governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. He’s expected to sign it today.

The big, difficult and high impact bill is SB 1130. It would raise California’s minimum broadband to 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds, and encourage – but not require – the California Public Utilities Commission to spend California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) money on infrastructure projects that deliver similarly symmetrical 100 Mbps down and up service.… More

Nearly all broadband subsidy proposals could survive California’s chopping block. Nearly

24 June 2020 by Steve Blum
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CASF funding status Part 3:

There won’t be enough money in the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to pay for all the broadband projects proposed for subsidies last month. Grant requests total $533 million, but there’s only $145 million in tax revenue projected to be available for CASF infrastructure projects, as the program is designed and run now.

Something has to give. But not everything. One potential remedy is to top up project budgets with federal money.… More

Newsom, CPUC line up on (relatively) minor changes to California broadband subsidy program

5 June 2020 by Steve Blum
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Paicines pole route

A second, perhaps competing, revision to California’s broadband infrastructure subsidy program is queued up for possible consideration at the state capitol. The California Public Utilities Commission is proposing changes to the law governing the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), to make it easier to use it to attract federal broadband money to the state by supplementing the budgets of projects competing for federal grants.

The administration’s proposal is flying under the radar right now. It’s consistent with the vague reference to better competing for federal broadband dollars in governor Gavin Newsom’s budget revision last month.… More