CPUC okays grants for Occidental FTTH, consortia, public housing; cancels dormant projects

18 August 2016 by Steve Blum
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With no discussion and plenty of advocates in attendance, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved a $7.7 million construction subsidy for a fiber to the home project in Occidental and grants for three regional broadband consortia and 12 public housing programs. It also rescinded five previously approved but currently stalled California Advanced Services Fund infrastructure projects, putting $4.5 million back into the kitty. More details here.

California broadband projects up for review at CPUC

18 August 2016 by Steve Blum
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UPDATE: The CPUC approved the Occidental project and the consortia and public housing grants, and rescinded subsidies for the five dormant CASF projects in a unanimous, consent agenda vote this morning.

Occidental, a small community in rural Sonoma County, will get gigabit broadband service for $100 a month, if the California Public Utilities Commission approves a $7.7 million construction grant at its meeting later the morning. The fiber-to-the-home project was proposed earlier this year by Race Telecommunications and originally specced at serving 757 homes.… More

Sorry Lee Vining, mobile is good enough for you

1 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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No future here.

Fiber to the home service is coming to a string of small Mono County communities generally along U.S. highway 395 (and along the Digital 395 fiber backbone), but one – Lee Vining – will be left out.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $6.6 million grant to Race Telecommunications from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to build out FTTH systems in South Chalfant, Benton, Benton Hot Springs, Swall Meadows and Mono City.… More

Competition heats up for broadband subsidies in the Californian desert

22 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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There’s a second bid for grant money to build a fiber to the home system in the San Bernardino County desert communities of Phelan, Piñon Hills, Oak Hills and West Cajon Valley, plus parts of Victorville and Hesperia. Yesterday, Ultimate Internet Access, Inc. (UIA) asked for a $21 million infrastructure subsidy from the California Advanced Services Fund CASF) for the project. It’s now competing directly with Race Telecommunications for the cash.

Last August, Race submitted a $48 million grant proposal, also for an FTTH build in that area.… More

Surprise, Trona and Searles Valley! You've been chopped

18 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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“Do the folks in Trona and Searles Valley that initially expressed strong support for this project, are they aware of this change?” asked commissioner Mike Florio as the California Public Utilities Commission considered a greatly trimmed fiber to the home project proposed for several high desert communities.

“No they are not, mostly likely they are not, unless they were attending today’s meeting and received the [revised] version”, replied Rob Wullenjohn, the CPUC staff manager who oversees the California Advanced Services Fund CASF).… More

Last minute WISP challenge kills FTTH for two California towns

14 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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No gigabit for you.

It’s still called the Five Mining Communities broadband project, but only three will be getting fiber to the home service, assuming the California Public Utilities Commission approves a $2 million California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) grant as currently drafted at its meeting tomorrow.

Race Telecommunications will get the money to build out in Randsburg, Johannesburg, and Red Mountain, near the junction of Inyo, San Bernardino and Kern counties. But neighboring Trona and Searles Valley are off the list, because of a last minute challenge from a wireless Internet service provider, SBC Wireless, who just popped up in town…

[CPUC] staff followed up with SBC-Wireless and was told that SBC-Wireless began operations in the area in late October 2015, has eight employees, and as of November 20, 2015 has 142 residential customers signed up for service.


Race targets Sonoma County for FTTH project

2 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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If you head west from Santa Rosa on State Route 12, and take the fork at Occidental Road, about halfway to the Pacific Ocean you’ll come to the town of Occidental. Residents there get broadband service from AT&T and Comcast, but if you go a little further west, the lines end. Race Telecommunications wants to build out a fiber to the home system there, and is asking the California Public Utilities Commission for a $9.1 million grant from the California Advanced Services Fund to do it.… More

Fiber projects grow from Digital 395 middle mile

1 November 2015 by Steve Blum
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Fiber follows fiber.

Slowly but surely, Race Telecommunications is expanding its fiber to the home footprint in eastern California, using money from the California Advanced Services Fund. The latest addition could be several small towns in Mono County – the Gigafy Mono project – and five small mining communities further south, where the company is asking for $7.6 million and $8.9 million respectively. Draft resolutions approving the money are circulating now, with the California Public Utilities Commission expected to vote on them in December.… More

A gigabit is now $60 in the Mojave desert town of Boron

19 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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A gig is a lot faster than 20 mules.

One of the fastest and cheapest ways to get gigabit service to your home is to move to Boron, California. Race Telecommunications finished building out fiber-to-the-home infrastructure there last month, and is selling a gig of Internet access for $60 per month, and unlimited voice service for $10 a month.

The community’s response was quick and enthusiastic. So far, about a third of the 900 homes and businesses in town have ordered service, with about 200 already connected and crews working to hook up the rest at the rate of about 30 per week.… More

Californian towns redlined by Charter targeted for broadband construction subsidies

12 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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Blue indicates Charter’s state cable franchise areas where it hasn’t upgraded to DOCSIS 3 capability, as it has in the yellow areas.

Race Telecommunications has zeroed in on a big and densely populated area of the San Bernardino County desert that’s been redlined by Charter Communications, and neglected by Verizon. Wireline broadband service in the area generally fails to meet the California Public Utilities Commission’s minimum standard of 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up.… More