As California burns, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile fight emergency obligations

25 August 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Woolsey fire crew 625

Mobile carriers beat back a legislative attempt to impose disaster readiness obligations on them last week, and challenged “resiliency” rules approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in July.

Senate bill 431, authored by Mike McGuire (D – Sonoma), died in the assembly appropriations committee last week. No reason was given, but the primary opposition came from the lobbying front organisation used by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, with cable industry lobbyists close behind. The bill would have directed the CPUC to require 72-hour power backup capability at cell sites, where feasible.… More

Symmetrical 25 Mbps broadband standard back on track in California assembly

30 July 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Fiber patch panel sab photo 625

Funding for fast, reliable broadband service for all Californians gets a hearing on Monday in the California assembly. Senate bill 1130 was supposed to heard by the communications and conveyances committee this week, but was delayed by a political turf war between assembly and senate leadership.

SB 1130 pegs symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds as California’s residential broadband standard. It’s not a promise of full fiber-based service, but it’s close. Light years closer than the ridiculous 6 Mbps down/1 Mbps minimum that California suffers from now, and that a rival measure pushed by cable and telephone companies would bake into law.… More

The usual faces aren’t in the usual places, so California legislature stalls broadband bills

28 July 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Chp horses capitol 3feb2016

A political pissing match between the California senate and assembly will delay action on a bill that aims to raise California’s broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload speeds. Senate bill 1130, authored by Lena Gonzalez (D – Los Angeles) was one of only two bills scheduled to be heard this morning by the assembly’s communications and conveyances committee.

The other is SB 431. Carried by Mike McGuire (D – Sonoma), it would require mobile carriers to install back up generators at their cell sites in high fire threat areas, and maintain service, including “basic internet browsing for emergency notices” during disasters and power outages – purposeful or not.… More

Fast, reliable broadband considered by California lawmakers. AT&T, Comcast, Charter pay millions to say no

27 July 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Money case 625

When members of the California assembly’s communications and conveyances committee take their seats tomorrow, they’ll be looking out at – actually or virtually – big telecoms lobbyists that 1. pay millions of dollars for laws they love and 2. hate the two broadband bills that are on the covid-shortened agenda. Senate bill 1130 raises California minimum broadband standard to symmetrical 25 Mbps download/25 Mbps upload speeds, and SB 431 imposes back up power and web browsing requirements on mobile carriers (but not on cable company VoIP or telcos’ ersatz wireless broadband, thanks to those same lobbyists).… More

Power out? No 911? California bill allows cable, telcos to say stick it

23 July 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Woolsey fire victim

Companies that provide voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and fixed wireless Internet service (WISPs) won’t, for the most part, have to keep their networks running during disasters, under a bill that was just amended in the California assembly. As now written, senate bill 431 generally confirms resiliency requirements – e.g. 72 hours of backup power and maintain access to “basic internet browsing for emergency notices” in high fire threat areas – imposed on mobile carriers by the California Public Utilities Commission this week, but draws the line there.… More

Short broadband to-do list for California legislators upon return from summer vacation

6 July 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

California lawmakers are taking an abbreviated summer break. They usually leave Sacramento for a month around July, but since they were off for so long earlier this year due to covid-19 and because of the uncertain condition of the state budget, their effective vacation was trimmed back to less than two weeks. They’re scheduled to return to the capitol a week from today. When they return, they’ll have just a handful of broadband-related bills to act on.… More

Five telecoms bills cling to life in the California legislature as deadlines pass

2 June 2020 by Steve Blum
, , , , ,

Compressed deadlines at the California legislature will leave several telecommunications bills for dead, as attention turns toward the 15 June 2020 constitutionally mandated date for passing the annual state budget. With weeks taken out of the normal schedule by the covid–19 lockdown, and committee work hampered by social distancing and quarantine measures, far fewer bills are expected to make it out of the Sacramento sausage machine this year.

Four bills are moving ahead: senate bill 1130, a broadband subsidy bill I wrote about last Wednesday, two bills that lean into broadband regulation – SB 1058 and SB 1069 – that I’ll write about later, and assembly bill 2421, which would require local governments to fast track permit approvals for emergency generators needed to keep cell sites running.… More