CPUC gets enthusiastic support for Salinas Valley broadband project

Once upon a time, Silicon Valley looked pretty much the same.

Community leaders from California’s central coast have weighed in on a grant application in front of the California Public Utilities Commission that would pay for a large portion of a 91-mile fiber optic backbone for the region. The project, submitted by Sunesys, LLC would provide disadvantaged communities in the Salinas Valley with the kind of broadband infrastructure Silicon Valley takes for granted. Not surprisingly, there is tremendous local support for CPUC president Michael Peevey’s proposal to raise the allowable percentage of the construction costs that can be subsidised by the California Advanced Services Fund.… More

Online ride sharing companies adapting to Californian rules

If Lyft’s customers were this happy before there were rules, just think how they must feel now.

California’s pioneering attempt to regulate online ride sharing services such as Lyft and Uber seems to be going as smoothly anyone could expect. The California Public Utilities Commission was briefed this morning on progress made since it adopted rules setting safety, training, insurance and other operational standards for transportation network companies, as it now calls them, including…

Obtain a permit from the [CPUC]…require criminal background checks for each driver, establish a driver training program, implement a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, and require insurance coverage.


Golden Bear fiber plan not sturdy enough to survive incumbent challenges

5 March 2014 by Steve Blum
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The two thousand mile, $120+ million Golden Bear middle mile fiber network is officially dead. Snaking through the canyons and river valleys of far northern California, the project was touted as a way of bringing fast, inexpensive backbone connectivity to areas far removed from bandwidth-rich regions to the south.

Effectively, backers were asking for 100% grant funding from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Nominally, the limit is somewhere between 60% and 70%, depending on the level of broadband service, if any, that is available.… More

Raise subsidy limits for social, economic impact says CPUC president

23 February 2014 by Steve Blum
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Opportunity to add value.

Limits on money from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) are not written in stone, according to CPUC president Michael Peevey. Late Friday, he proposed lifting the cap – 60% to 70%, depending on broadband availability – that commissioners previously set on CASF grants, at least for a middle mile project in the Salinas Valley proposed by Sunesys LLC, a dark fiber company.
The alternate resolution text that Peevey is asking his colleagues to approve says…

The Commission recognizes that a higher level of CASF funding may be needed for Sunesys to undertake the project.


Two last mile projects line up for California coastal fiber proposal

11 February 2014 by Steve Blum
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When you’re hanging fiber, it’s easy to drop a strand or two to homes along the way.

The first two – of what is hoped to be many – last mile projects that rely on a proposed middle mile link from Santa Cruz to Soledad are now in front of the California Public Utilities Commission. Draft resolutions were published today that set the stage for the approval of a total of $343,000 in grants and loans from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to partially pay for building the infrastructure needed to deliver 100 Mbps broadband service to homes in two underserved communities in northern Monterey County, at the mouth of the Salinas Valley.… More

Dark fiber for California's Salinas Valley needs CPUC help

10 February 2014 by Steve Blum
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Proposed project gives Castroville, Chualar, Gonzales and Soledad a path to Silicon Valley connections. (Click for larger version).

A 91-mile fiber optic backbone project on California’s central coast is under consideration by the California Public Utilities Commission, which will have to decide whether or not to increase the limit it previously set for broadband construction subsidies from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

Proposed by Sunesys, LLC, the project would connect unserved and underserved communities in the Salinas Valley with affordable dark fiber links to lower cost, higher speed Internet bandwidth in Silicon Valley.… More

Fiber cuts not as disruptive on California's central coast

19 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Lightning fast and always lands on its feet. The cat too.

Four years ago, someone chopped into an AT&T fiber optic cable south of San Jose in California. Big chunks of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara Counties fell off the Internet for the better part of a day. Mobile and landline phone service was disrupted.

Earlier this week, a similar cut was made in more or less the same place. The same thing happened to a lot of people.… More