Primarily is primarily the problem with California broadband subsidies

8 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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I did not have legislative relations with Comcast either.

The fate of the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) might come down to a single word. Last week, when an assembly committee killed senate bill 740, which that would have added money to the fund and expanded the list of eligible applicants, the heat of the debate focused on a single weasel word…

These requirements shall include that projects under this paragraph primarily provide last-mile broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing facilities-based broadband provider.


Effort builds to revive California broadband subsidy legislation

3 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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I’m not dead yet. I’m getting better.

A proposal to extend funding and eligibility for broadband infrastructure subsidies might get a second chance in the California assembly. Senate bill 740 failed to get enough “yes” votes in the assembly utilities and commerce committee on Monday. Contrary to what was thought at time, there is enough slack in the legislative schedule to take another try at getting the committee’s approval.

The actual deadline for the utilities and commerce committee to send SB 740 on its way to be considered by the full assembly is 16 August 2013.… More

Public housing projects go to the head of the line for California broadband subsidies

2 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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It’s only a flesh wound.

Broadband subsidies for public housing are still popular at the California state capitol, even if it means reducing already dwindling support for infrastructure construction in unserved and underserved areas. The senate energy, utilities and communications committee approved assembly bill 1299 this morning. It would take $25 million from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and use it to install broadband facilities in public housing projects and support marketing programs aimed at convincing residents to sign up for service.… More

Cable lobby shovels California broadband subsidies to a halt

1 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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A good day’s work for California cable lobbyists.

With utter disregard for truth and common sense, lobbyists from Comcast and the California cable industry successfully confused enough assembly members to halt senate bill 740 in its tracks. SB 740 would have added $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and allowed independent Internet service providers and public agencies to apply for broadband infrastructure grants under some circumstances.

A long line of supporters – including, remarkably enough, AT&T – endorsed the compromise language negotiated last week.… More

Last chance to speak your mind on changes to California broadband subsidies

30 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Expect a united front from industry lobbyists.

Monday and Tuesday will likely be the final opportunity for public comments on new money and rules for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Two proposals – senate bill 740 and assembly bill 1299 – are set for committee hearings. If approved, the bills head back into the machinery of the legislative process, which operates behind closed doors for the most part.

SB 740 is first up. It’s considered by the assembly utilities and commerce committee on Monday afternoon.… More

Funding and eligibility for California broadband subsidies back on track in Sacramento

27 June 2013 by Steve Blum
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Open for business again.

The authors of legislation to top up the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and make more broadband construction projects eligible for grants and loans have put money back in and removed unworkable restrictions pushed by industry lobbyists.

The primary proposal, senate bill 740, was originally written by senator Alex Padilla (D – Los Angeles) to add money to CASF, because current grant requests would, if approved, zero out the fund.… More

California legislature votes more perks for cable and telephone companies

30 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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It’s on the house. Both houses, actually.

The California Assembly approved using broadband construction subsidy funds to pay for marketing programs and infrastructure in public housing yesterday. The votes was 58 yes and 17 no for assembly bill 1299, which means it heads over to the Senate for further consideration later this summer.

AB1299 earmarks $20 million from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) for building out broadband infrastructure in public housing projects and another $5 million for programs designed to encourage residents to buy service.… More

Sharp limits on broadband subsidies approved by California Senate

29 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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I think I’ll send you over the Assembly for a little trim.

No more money for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and tight restrictions on how any remaining funds can be spent. That was the decision yesterday of a large, bipartisan majority of California state senators, as they approved a broadband infrastructure bill largely written by cable and telco lobbyists.

In a 36 to 1 vote, they sent senate bill 740 to the assembly for consideration later this summer.… More

Votes on California broadband subsidy changes set for Tuesday

27 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Providing meaningful input to the process.

Two proposals to change the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) are on the table in Sacramento, and both are scheduled for major votes on Tuesday. Assembly bill 1299 and senate bill 740 will be put before the full California Assembly and Senate, respectively, after legislative leaders – primarily super-majority Democrats – released both for a vote. The alternative would have been to kill them outright, which was the fate of many other bills in progress.… More

Sweeping California broadband subsidies under the carpet

21 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Nothing to see here. Move along.

A new analysis of proposed changes to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) ignores restrictions added at the urging of cable and telco lobbyists. The primary purpose of the CASF program currently is to fund the construction of new broadband facilities in areas that don’t have access to service of at least 6 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload speeds. If California state senators base their vote on the latest summary prepared by legislative staff members, they’ll think they’re voting to 1.… More