In a first, Gonzales, California provides free, city-funded Internet service to every home, with unique two year T-Mobile deal

22 April 2020 by Steve Blum
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Gonzales logo 625

Every household in Gonzales, California can get free Internet access, courtesy of the City of Gonzales. So can families that live outside the city limits that have students attending school there. So far, more than 1,200 households of the approximately 2,000 households in and around Gonzales have taken up the offer. Gonzales students can get online and use school district-provided Chromebooks to keep up with their lessons, despite being locked down during the covid–19 emergency.… More

Gonzales universal broadband service RFQ deadline extended

23 November 2017 by Steve Blum
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Internet service providers have four extra working weeks to respond to a request for quotes to provide universal broadband access to residents of the City of Gonzales, in California’s Salinas Valley. Following requests from potential respondents for extra time to submit quotes, and an inadvertent glitch that delayed answers to some of the questions they submitted, the City extended the deadline for responses to 22 December 2017.

That means the offers won’t be due on Cyber Monday, 27 November 2017, but that was a coincidental, albeit cool, deadline to begin with.… More

Gonzales requests quotes for universal broadband service

Bringing broadband service into every home has long been a goal of the City of Gonzales, a town of 8,500 residents located in California’s Salinas Valley. Yesterday, the City took a big step in that direction by releasing a Request for Quotes that asks broadband providers to put an offer on the table…

The City wishes to enter into an extended term contract with one Respondent to provide consistent, reliable access to basic internet service to each housing unit and household (collectively, “Residence”) at a fixed monthly cost to the City.


New York fines Charter $13 million for stalled upgrades

21 September 2017 by Steve Blum
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The New York State State Public Service Commission has slapped a $13 million fine on Charter Communications, as punishment for missing broadband expansion requirements attached to regulatory approval of its purchase of Time Warner Cable systems last year. According to a story by Kendra Chamberlain in FierceCable, Charter’s build out in New York fell far short…

The agreement included statewide speed upgrades reaching 100 Mbps by 2018 and 300 Mbps by 2019, and a timeline for building out its broadband network in chunks of over 36,000 new residents and businesses per year, to be completed by 2020.


Gonzales, California putting broadband into every home, business

Basic broadband in every home and fast fiber for every business: that’s the goal endorsed on Monday by Gonzales city council members. The plan, as presented by staff, is to issue two requests for proposals.

The residential RFP is ambitious. There are 1,800 homes in Gonzales, which is located in California’s Salinas Valley. The city wants to provide a basic, lifeline-level of service to each one. As the report presented to the council explains

Staff has been exploring the possibility of entering into a bulk services agreement with a qualified Internet service provider (ISP) to deliver a basic level of Internet access to every home in Gonzales.


Charter agrees to digital upgrade for Salinas Valley

8 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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Work in progress.

More than 100,000 people living in and around the Salinas Valley are on track for a digital upgrade from Charter Communications within the next three years. If Charter is allowed to buy Time Warner and Bright House cable systems in California and elsewhere.

Charter is the incumbent cable company in most of the Salinas Valley – the major exception is the City of Salinas, which is Comcast territory. Its Monterey County video franchise areas are stuck in the analog era, with 36 channels of old school, standard definition television that costs an eye-watering $106 per month.… More

City of Gonzales approves simple dig once policy

A simple, one-page dig once/shadow conduit policy was adopted earlier this month by the Gonzales, California city council. The policy is a simple way to give public works staff the ability to include broadband conduit in road maintenance, utility digs and similar projects. It’s an adaptation of a staff-level policy that was implemented by the City of Salinas a few years ago, forming the basis for its recently launched commercial/industrial broadband network initiative.

Under the policy, the assumption is that conduit will be installed any time the city opens up a trench, subject to the public works director’s discretion…

Unless waived by the Public Works Director on the basis of undue burden, or an unfavorable cost-benefit analysis, or the consideration of other relevant factors, Gonzales will install or have installed communications conduit whenever the City undertakes or authorizes the following types of projects:

  1. New street, road, sidewalk, bike path, or other transportation infrastructure construction.

Three ways to bridge California's digital divide

29 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Not the best way to solve transportation problems either.

I was at the state assembly’s select committee on the digital divide in California on Tuesday, and offered my comments…
Good morning. My name is Stephen Blum, my company is Tellus Venture Associates, in Marina, in Assemblyman Stone’s district. I’m a broadband development consultant and a member of the Central Coast Broadband Consortium. I work for several cities and other regional broadband consortia in California, in both urban and rural areas.… More

Charter charges Salinas Valley high price for 1980s TV

20 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Gonzales gets the facts of life.

If you live in Watsonville, California, you can go to Charter Communications’ website and find a triple play package that gives you 60 Mbps download speeds, more than 200 channels of television, HD included, a digital video recorder and unlimited long distance calling for as little as $70 a month. There are strings attached at that price point, but it’s still a pretty good deal.
If you live in the Salinas Valley, 40 miles to the south in Gonzales, it’s a different story.… More

CPUC connects Salinas Valley to Silicon Valley with fast, cheap fiber

A 91-mile fiber optic middle network for the Salinas Valley, stretching from Santa Cruz in the north, to Watsonville, Moss Landing, Castroville, Salinas, Gonzales and Soledad in the south, is on the way. On a unanimous vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a $10.6 million grant to Sunesys, LLC from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

“The key point for me was that typically that these projects only make a price commitment for two years”, said Commissioner Michel Florio.… More