Private sector rules applied to municipal broadband subsidies in California

An entity that is not a telephone corporation.

Local governments will have to meet the same requirements as independent, private sector Internet service providers in order to qualify for broadband infrastructure subsidies from the California Public Utilities Commission. That’s the implication of a ruling issued by CPUC president Michael Peevey last week. Those requirements could include performance bonds and penalties for failing to meet conditions the commission might put on subsidised projects or for not complying with its regulations.… More

CPUC proposes new rules expanding broadband infrastructure subsidy eligibility

6 January 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Welcome to the party.

Companies that provide broadband service, but aren’t traditional telephone companies regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission, would have to meet certain financial standards to qualify for broadband infrastructure grants and loans from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), according to proposed new rules released today.

The draft decision, authored by commission president Michael Peevey, are the first step in implementing a law passed last year by the California legislature that made it possible for independent Internet service providers to apply for CASF subsidies, albeit with restrictions that give priority and preference to traditional phone companies.… More

No quick changes for Californian broadband subsidy program

7 October 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

Glaciers are slow, but reliably arrive.

Because it was tagged as urgency legislation and then approved by a two-thirds vote of the California legislature, senate bill 740 took effect the moment it was signed by Governor Brown. Even so, don’t expect any immediate changes to the way the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) is managed or broadband construction subsidies are given out.

Eleven months ago, the California Public Utilities Commission began the lengthy process of changing CASF eligibility rules, under the assumption that the legislature would allow it.… More

Governor Brown signs California broadband subsidy bills into law

3 October 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

According to the sponsors of the legislation, Governor Brown has showered affection and money on Californian broadband backers, signing senate bill 740 and assembly bill 1299 into law. We’re all feeling the love now.

“Congratulations everyone, SB 740 has been signed by the Governor”, said SB 740 author senator Alex Padilla (D- Los Angeles). “I know a lot of hard work, dedication, and patience went into the bill, but it’s great to know that all the work has paid off.”… More

California legislature adds $90 million to broadband subsidy fund

12 September 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

What will Jerry do? No, the other one.

The California legislature approved senate bill 740 yesterday, adding $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and widening, a bit, the list of broadband providers who can apply for construction subsidies.

The state assembly gave its blessing on a 59 to 16 vote, and sent it over to the senate, where it was approved 34 to 3. The bill now goes to Governor Brown for his approval, or not.… More

Clock ticking down on California broadband policy initiatives

11 September 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

High noon is nearer than it seems.

Of all the ancient traditions and lofty values of the California legislature, few have the moral imperative of the three day weekend. Although this Friday is a work day – the end of session deadline – on the official calendar, leaders in both the California senate and assembly want to wrap up business by tomorrow evening.

So today is critical to efforts to top up the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), and sorta expand eligibility for broadband infrastructure construction subsidies to independent Internet service providers and cities.… More

California broadband interests walk hand in hand in Sacramento

7 September 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , ,

Together forever.

Two broadband subsidy bills have been wrapped together in the California legislature, and appear to be on track for approval this coming week. Senate bill 740, which adds $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and expands eligibility a bit, and assembly bill 1299, which gives $25 million of that money to public housing projects, now contain mirror language that make them all but inseparable.

It’s possible that the extra money could be approved even if the public housing piece is shot down, but the political horse trading that got the bills to this point make it unlikely.… More

The California assembly will vote on funding broadband infrastructure

30 August 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

Legislative leadership lines up behind broadband.

Californian broadband subsidies are back on track and heading, it seems to a vote by the full assembly. Big thanks to Elizabeth Munguia in senator Alex Padilla’s office for the news that the assembly leadership released senate bill 740 from the appropriations committee’s suspense file, which puts it in play for the final, hectic two weeks of the legislature’s current session.

SB 740 would add $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and make it possible – although maybe not practical – for independent Internet service providers and cities to apply for grants and loans to build out broadband infrastructure.… More

Assembly committee puts California broadband subsidy bill on hold

22 August 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , ,

Don’t keep us in suspense.

The fate of California broadband infrastructure subsidies will come down to a mass legislative horse trading session next week. Senate bill 740, which would add $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and allow independent ISPs and cities to apply for broadband construction money under limited circumstances, was shuffled to the assembly appropriations committee’s suspense file yesterday. The move was expected.

It’s a procedural limbo that was originally created to allow lawmakers to delay significant spending or tax bills until after the state budget is approved.… More

Admin costs take a bigger bite out of California broadband subsidy fund

20 August 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , , , ,

I thought there was more in there.

The amount of money available to the current round of California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) infrastructure grant applicants is probably something like $135 million, considerably less than the $148 million I’ve been estimating. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has published the proposed budget for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) for next fiscal year, which runs from July 2014 to June 2015. It shows a sharp increase in overhead costs for running the program, including an extra $1.5 million for the state’s broadband mapping project.… More