CPUC faces a decision on broadband subsidy limits

Broadband construction subsidies are averaging $2,200 per household, as the California Public Utilities Commission works through the current round of proposals submitted for California Advanced Services Fund grants. Nine applications for last mile projects have been approved so far, with an estimated reach of 9,700 homes and totalling $21 million.

CASF approved projects, as of 31 October 2013.

The most money – $3,800 per household passed – is going to an FTTH project in the high desert town of Boron.… More

CPUC affirms relevance of broadband pricing and caps, approves subsidies for five Californian projects

The California Public Utilities Commission said yes this morning to spending $4.8 million from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) on five rural broadband projects.
Commissioners approved the subsidies unanimously and without discussion. The resolutions included language rejecting unsupported mobile broadband coverage claims made by Verizon and indicating that the commission considers broadband pricing and data caps to be relevant issues, if not formal criteria, when it decides whether to subsidise competitive broadband projects…

In addition, while the Commission in [its decision setting out rules for the CASF program] did not include broadband performance measure other than speed, the wireless broadband service offerings include data caps and pricing that are more restrictive than the proposed project’s service offerings which has lower prices and no explicit data caps.


CPUC rebukes Verizon, prepares to vote on five broadband projects

No point in kicking if the game is long over.

A series of procedural temper tantrums earned Verizon politely worded advice to pay attention to the rules and nothing more. In revised draft resolutions (still) recommending approval of California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) subsidies for three broadband projects challenged by Verizon, California Public Utilities Commission staff laid out what should have been done. For example, regarding a project proposed for Boonville in Mendocino County

CD staff reminds Verizon that for all CASF project proposals, a challenge window and deadline is set up for submitting challenges on pending applications.


The art of estimating broadband subsidy costs by households in rural California

2 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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It’s one house, but how many homes?

Maybe 800 homes on the western side of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains will get upgraded broadband service, many via fiber to the home connections, if a pair of draft resolutions is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.

CPUC staff is recommending giving Ponderosa Telephone Company a total of $2.7 million from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). About $1.8 million would go to an FTTH build in two small Madera County communities, Beasore and Central Camp, and $900,000 would help pay for a DSL upgrade and limited FTTH service in the Big Creek area of Fresno County.… More