PG&E adopts a dark fiber and wholesale telecoms services business model

6 June 2017 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

The low ball fiber business plan that PG&E submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission drew criticism from several organisations that probably didn’t fully understand it – publicly traded companies usually downplay the profit potential of new ventures, to avoid hyping stocks and running afoul of federal securities laws. In its application for certification as a telecommunications company, PG&E estimated that it "will have approximately 1-5 customers after one year and will have more than 5 customers by the fifth year after commencing provision of the services".… More

PG&E will slow walk its own fiber builds, just like everyone else's

1 June 2017 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

It’s not going to speed up the process for reviewing requests to attach fiber optic cable to its utility poles, but PG&E won’t give its own, in-house telecoms unit any short cuts either. That’s the top line from PG&E’s reply to objections filed against its request for formal certification by the California Public Utilities Commission as a telecoms company. Several companies and organisations that are, at once, potential competitors, customers and suppliers to a PG&E-operated fiber optic venture (that’s the interconnected nature of the telecoms business) asked the CPUC to delve deeply into the way utility pole attachments are managed.… More

Support for PG&E as a telecoms competitor, if that's all it is

23 May 2017 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

I’ll show you a pole attachment.

Seven objections, of one variety or another, were filed against PG&E’s bid to be certified as a telecommunications company by the California Public Utilities Commission. Links to all are below.

Three came from industry players, including Crown Castle, which has a growing and competitive fiber footprint in California, and two lobbying fronts, one for cable operators and the other for competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), which are companies that largely rely on reselling access to physical facilities owned by big telcos and fiber network owners.… More

PG&E seeks to use its California fiber to compete as a telco

12 April 2017 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

A vast, competitive fiber network will soon open up in northern California, if the California Public Utilities approves Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s request to operate as a telephone company. PG&E applied for a telco-style certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) so it could sell services on the fiber network it’s built throughout California. Currently, it only allows other certified telephone companies to use its fiber, which was mostly built to support its own operations.… More

If you're wondering how much it costs to use existing poles and conduit, it's public information

20 July 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

The most difficult and costly part of any wireline broadband infrastructure project is getting cable from point A to point B. There are two primary ways of doing it: stringing it on poles or running through buried conduit. Since the chances of getting permission to build a new pole route in California is only slightly better than the odds of getting approval to drill for oil in San Francisco Bay, your only independent alternative is to start digging, at the rate of $30 to $60 a foot or more.… More

When communications go down, communications companies fail to communicate

28 February 2014 by Steve Blum
, , ,

No one picked up the phone until a bullet hit a PG&E transformer.

More than ten months on, the motive and people behind fiber cuts and gun shots south of San Jose last year are still a mystery, according to a briefing given to the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday. The incident happened on 16 April 2013, knocking out Internet service to thousands of AT&T customers. A PG&E substation was also damaged, although no power outages resulted.… More

Update: Brown signs SB1161, no new Californian regulations for Internet services

30 September 2012 by Steve Blum
, , , , , , ,
California governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1161, which prevents state agencies, particularly the California Public Utilities Commission, from extending regulations and oversight to “Internet Protocol enabled service”, including specifically VoIP, until at least 2020.

In his signing message, the governor said “this bill encourages the continued growth of these and other innovative services that have become a hallmark of our state.”

The language of the bill is broad, covering any service that “enables an end user to send or receive a communication in existing Internet Protocol format, or any successor Internet Protocol format through a broadband connection, regardless of whether the communication is voice, data, or video.”


When she's good, she's very good; when she's bad, she's better

28 September 2012 by Steve Blum
, , , , , , ,

Governor Jerry Brown has until this Sunday, 30 September 2012, to approve or veto Senate Bill 1161, which would prohibit the California Public Utilities Commission or any other California state agency from regulating “Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled services” until at least 2020.

The bill is controversial and the debate has been emotional. Advocates say it would clear the decks for continued high tech innovation in California, opponents say it would deregulate big cable and telephone companies and allow them to bully consumers and bury smaller competitors.