Fast track for telecoms projects ordered by Trump

25 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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Telecommunications finally got a shout out from the new administration as president Trump included it in a list of the sort of infrastructure projects he considers to be a high priority and, consequently, deserving of quick federal environmental reviews. A low profile executive order issued yesterday put it plainly

It is the policy of the executive branch to streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S.


Brown, Newsom clash over merits of obstruction

18 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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Zorro drew his sword. Paladin went for his gun. TJ Hooker whipped out his stick. When in peril, Californian heroes find salvation in a sure and deadly weapon. In our finest tradition, lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom faced the looming threat of Donald Trump’s wall, shouted not in my backyard and brandished the ultimate equaliser: the California Environmental Quality Act. According to the Los Angeles Times

“There’s something called CEQA in California — NEPA at the federal level,” Newsom said.


Spend on broadband not crumbling concrete, says California congressman

9 January 2017 by Steve Blum
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Issa on home turf.

Representative Darrell Issa (R – San Diego) embraced Donald Trump’s plan to pump a lot of federal money into infrastructure during a CES panel discussion in Las Vegas this weekend, and broadband is at the top of his shopping list. If the federal government is going to spend a trillion dollars again, Issa thinks it should be forward looking projects that get funded, and not repair jobs left over from the last century.… More

California needs fast, investor friendly projects to win federal infrastructure money

14 December 2016 by Steve Blum

A new business model?

Money could start flowing into California infrastructure, if president-elect Donald Trump’s plan to spend a trillion dollars on construction projects continues on the course that it seems to be on. That was the cautious optimism expressed at the California Economic Summit yesterday during a briefing on infrastructure programs and progress.

The optimism was about the way Trump’s infrastructure priorities – at least as far as those have been articulated – broadly matches California’s make-up: big projects in major metropolitan areas that have a national impact and rural areas that are close to major economic drivers – like Silicon Valley – and to logistics hubs like major seaports, rail lines and highways.… More

Fiber gems stand out on California's central coast

27 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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The industrial/commercial broadband Star Rating system developed by Tellus Venture Associates for the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast shows a wide variation in high grade broadband infrastructure across San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

In the BCPC region, most commercial and industrial census blocks rated 1 Star or less, however there were ample instances of 2 Star, 3 Star and even some 4 Star Ratings. The highest aggregate rating for a city was found in San Luis Obispo, which rated 2 Stars overall.… More

Star Ratings show where to find high tech, industrial class broadband

26 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Click to get the methodology, maps are below.

The best place on California’s south central coast – on the whole – to look for commercial or industrial real estate with access to fast, fiber optic broadband service is San Luis Obispo. But there are plenty of other cities in the SLO – Santa Barbara – Ventura county region with pockets of fiber availability that are as good or, in many cases, better.

In the course of a doing a regional broadband assessment for the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast (BCPC), we developed a method for rating the availability of commercial and industrial-class broadband infrastructure.… More

Cable and telco mix on California's central coast offers broadband highs and lows

20 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Click for the details.

The low water mark for broadband on California’s central coast is the Monterey-San Luis Obispo county line. As you move north or south from there along the route of the historic El Camino Real, broadband infrastructure gradually gets better, before hitting high water marks in Silicon Valley and Ventura County.

That’s the top line finding from a study I recently completed for the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast. Northern SLO County has an uneven mix of legacy Verizon – now, Frontier – and AT&T systems, some lacking even 1990s grade DSL service, plus some below average Charter cable systems along a narrow corridor either side of U.S.… More

Blocking improvement hurts the environment too

27 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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I don’t know if anyone has ever specifically asked, but if I had to bet I’d guess that most Californians would rate traffic congestion as a bigger problem than Internet speeds. Occasionally waiting a few seconds while Netflix buffers is annoying. Spending an hour in traffic just to travel a handful of miles is soul destroying. It’s no coincidence that three Silicon Valley companies – Google, Apple and Tesla – are at the forefront of self-driving car development.… More

Federal broadband development policy moves ahead in congress

7 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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Easier access on the horizon.

The U.S. house of representative’s communications and technology subcommittee approved a package of broadband development measures on Wednesday, aimed at making it easier to use federal property to build infrastructure and publish more information about existing facilities. The bill includes dig once language developed by Silicon Valley congresswoman Anna Eshoo. As currently drafted, the bill would establish

  • An inventory of federal broadband assets, and any broadband asset information voluntarily provided by state or local governments.

Proposed federal broadband infrastructure package includes dig once

1 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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“Dig once” requirements for federal highway projects might not have made it into a recent transportation bill, but the U.S. house of representative’s communications subcommittee will vote tomorrow on a bigger package of broadband development measures that includes it. According to a story in Broadband and Cable, the package also includes common deal terms, greater access to poles, a federal broadband asset inventory, and streamlined permits and environmental clearances. The details of the bill aren’t available right now, but you can find links to the proposed bills that led to it here.