California broadband infrastructure grant requests total $533 million as challenge period opens

21 May 2020 by Steve Blum
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Two more broadband project proposals surfaced as the California Public Utilities Commission posted the official list of applications for grants from the California Advanced Services Fund. One is for what appears to be a neighborhood fiber to the premise (FTTP) system in Nevada County, the other is an FTTP project that covers the same Placer County area that Charter Communications proposed for a hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) build.

The total now stands at 54 projects asking for a total of $533 million, about twice what’s available in the CASF kitty now.… More

Newsom’s budget revision hints at broadband policy change, adds money for mapping

18 May 2020 by Steve Blum
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Although governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget proposal has gloomy news for many publicly funded services and agencies in California, there’s a bright spot of sorts for broadband development. Newsom wants to spend an extra $2.8 million on broadband speed testing and mapping, via the California Public Utilities Commission’s CalSpeed program…

To identify which areas of the state lack sufficient access to broadband, the May Revision includes $2.8 million and 3 positions in additional resources…for the Commission to enhance its broadband mapping activities.


Wide swing on costs for California broadband subsidy proposals, for fiber and copper

12 May 2020 by Steve Blum
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Swing dance

Of the 52 applications for broadband infrastructure grants from the California Advanced Services Fund, 23 are for fiber to the premise (FTTP) builds of one kind or another, 16 are hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) projects, all submitted by Charter Communications, and 13 would be for fixed wireless facilities.

The least expensive proposals are, naturally enough, fixed wireless projects, most of which are in the $1,500 per home range. It’s probably no coincidence that the California Public Utility Commission’s benchmark price for wireless subsidies is also $1,500 per home.… More

Total California broadband grant ask grows to $528 million, twice what’s available

6 May 2020 by Steve Blum
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Sick piggy bank

The number of broadband infrastructure projects proposed for California Advanced Services Fund subsidies more than doubled on Tuesday, as two Internet service providers – Charter Communications and Digital Path – distributed summaries of the grant applications they submitted on Monday. The total, though, didn’t increase nearly as dramatically.

The count now stands at 52 project proposals totalling $528 million, up from 25 projects at $506 million. That’s against something like $300 million or less in the CASF broadband infrastructure account.… More

California broadband subsidy requests break the bank at more than half a gigabuck

5 May 2020 by Steve Blum
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Butch cassidy explosion

Update, 5 May 2020 08:43: Charter Communications dropped 16 grant applications totalling $17 million in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve updated the table, links and totals below accordingly. Stand by, there might be more to come.

At least 41 broadband infrastructure grant proposals totalling more than half a billion dollars landed at the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday. I say at least because public notifications don’t always get out immediately. There might be more once the dust settles.… More

Future proof broadband infrastructure for “all Californians” is goal of new senate bill

6 April 2020 by Steve Blum
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Dig once conduit 1oct2019

With the aim of ensuring “all Californians will gain access to broadband that is ready for the 21st century”, a coalition of broadband advocacy groups and independent broadband companies are sponsoring a bill that would undo the self-serving damage that monopoly model telcos and cable companies, and their allies, did to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) in 2017.

Senate bill 1130 raises California’s minimum broadband standard from the pathetic 6 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload speeds that support incumbent business plans and little else, to modern, symmetrical 25 Mbps service, and sets a de facto goal of deploying future proof fiber infrastructure in any community, regardless of population density or household income levels.… More