Local broadband policy models presented to central Sierra policy makers

Click to download the presentation.

Like it or not, convincing an incumbent provider to invest in improving broadband infrastructure in your community means putting a better deal in front of them than they can get elsewhere. Both Google and AT&T have money to spend on fiber upgrades, but not very much, relatively speaking. So they’re issuing short lists of cities, and then sitting back and waiting to see what those candidates put on the table.

Two things top their wish lists: getting permits quicker and cheaper, and access to public right of ways and real estate.… More

Central California fiber network about to go fully operational

Click for a bigger version of the map.

An 850 mile fiber build that threads through 18 counties in central California – largely paid for by the 2009 federal broadband stimulus program – is almost done. The Central Valley Independent Network, which now does business as Vast Networks will finally be complete by the end of May, according to marketing director Mike Stewart, who gave a presentation on the project at today’s Central Sierra Connect Broadband Consortium conference in Tuolumne City.… More

Google offers a better benchmark for Santa Cruz broadband policy

The color scheme is optional.

Santa Cruz County is moving closer to slashing red tape for broadband projects to the level urged by Google Fiber, in its talks with other cities in California and elsewhere in the U.S. That’s not to say that Google has any interest in putting a fiber system anywhere on California’s central coast. Nor that new broadband infrastructure rules are a done deal here. Not by a long shot. But it’s to the point where it’s more useful to compare Santa Cruz County to Google’s fast track than to the normal course of broadband construction in California.… More

Verizon's move to fiber a blessing for some Californians, but maybe a curse for others

20 April 2014 by Steve Blum
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Click for a bigger version, courtesy of the CPUC California broadband availability map.

Verizon says it’s invested more than $500 million in upgrading its broadband infrastructure in southern California and, in contrast to AT&T, it seems to be putting its money into wireline systems, particularly its FiOS fiber-to-the-home offerings. But the company is also making it clear that regulated copper plant belongs to past, and plans for replacing it with unregulated, fiber based Internet protocol service are moving ahead in California and elsewhere.… More

Tahoe broadband development initiative recommended for CPUC funding

A new regional broadband consortia project is on the table for the Lake Tahoe basin, which straddles the California-Nevada border. The California Public Utilities Commission will be considering whether to spend $167,000 from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) on a proposal to carve out separate funding for broadband infrastructure planning and development around Tahoe.

The area is included within the Gold Country broadband consortium, funded by CASF two years ago along with 13 others.… More

CPUC awards first broadband infrastructure subsidy to an independent ISP

13 April 2014 by Steve Blum
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Two small Monterey County last mile projects are now proof of concept for both a key assumption and a major change for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

Proposed by Surfnet Communications, Inc. and approved unanimously last week by the California Public Utilities Commission, the Monterey Dunes and Paradise Road projects validated the assumption that underpinned spending $10.6 million on a fiber link from Santa Cruz south through Monterey County to Soledad: that building middle mile links will lead to faster, cheaper and more reliable last mile service in underserved areas.… More

Trimmed Salinas Valley broadband project heads back to CPUC

Building jobs and a better economy.

A 91-mile fiber optic middle mile network reaching from Santa Cruz deep into the Salinas Valley is back on track, after discussions between the California Public Utilities Commission and Sunesys, LLC – the company applying for the project – led to a $388,000 cut in proposed grant funding.

A revised draft resolution, offered as an alternative by CPUC president Michael Peevey, was posted this afternoon and is scheduled to be considered by commissioners on Thursday.… More

Gonzales mayor makes the case for Salinas Valley broadband

Maria Orosco addresses the CPUC yesterday.

Gonzales mayor Maria Orosco and city manager Rene Mendez spoke on behalf of their community, the Salinas Valley and the entire central coast region yesterday, as they urged the California Public Utilities Commission to approve an $11 million grant to build a fiber optic broadband backbone system.

Mayor Orosco spoke to the Salinas Valley’s need for twenty-first century broadband infrastructure and the benefits it would bring…

Good morning, my name is Maria Orosco, mayor of the City of Gonzales.


Salinas Valley fiber optic project gets CPUC support, but final vote postponed

Click to see presentation.

“I think this is a great project and I want to see it happen”, said commissioner Michel Florio, as the California Public Utilities Commission discussed an $11 million proposal to build a fiber optic backbone down the Salinas Valley. “I drive through that areas regularly. I know the geography, it’s the 101 corridor. It is in many respects a low income area”.

But he wasn’t completely sold on the numbers, questioning the length of time it would take for the applicant, Sunesys LLC, to see a return on its investment in the project, if 83% of the construction cost was subsidised by the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).… More

CPUC considers Salinas Valley fiber project tomorrow

26 March 2014 by Steve Blum
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Building better infrastructure.

An $11 million proposal to build a fiber optic backbone connecting the Salinas Valley to Silicon Valley, by way of Santa Cruz, goes in front of the California Public Utilities Commission tomorrow morning. A decision might or might not come. Commissioner Michel Florio has asked that the vote be delayed until next month, although that could change as the proposal is discussed.

CPUC president Michael Peevey is proposing to subsidise 83% of construction costs – grants from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) are usually limited to the 60% to 70% range – because of the social and economic impact the project would have.… More