No progress, no paperwork, no grants for California broadband projects

9 August 2016 by Steve Blum
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Five broadband projects are about to lose funding, as the California Public Utilities Commission prepares to cancel $4.5 million worth of grants originally given to pay for construction costs. The companies that would have received the subsidies either decided not to move ahead with the project or just sort of disappeared and failed to file the proper paperwork.

Verizon had two of the projects – one in Pinyon in Riverside County and the other in the Sea Ranch area of Sonoma County.… More

Surfnet takes another try in the Santa Cruz mountains

19 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for a bigger picture.

Los Cumbres is a private community in the Santa Cruz mountains with old-style DSL service. Surfnet Communications, a wireless Internet service provider in the area, is asking the California Public Utilities Commission for a $730,000 grant and a $243,000 loan from the California Advanced Services Fund to build a fiber to the home system there.

The project would reach something like 180 homes, at a total cost of $1.2 million, with the balance paid by the Las Cumbres homeowners association and Surfnet.… More

CPUC awards first broadband infrastructure subsidy to an independent ISP

13 April 2014 by Steve Blum
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Two small Monterey County last mile projects are now proof of concept for both a key assumption and a major change for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

Proposed by Surfnet Communications, Inc. and approved unanimously last week by the California Public Utilities Commission, the Monterey Dunes and Paradise Road projects validated the assumption that underpinned spending $10.6 million on a fiber link from Santa Cruz south through Monterey County to Soledad: that building middle mile links will lead to faster, cheaper and more reliable last mile service in underserved areas.… More

CPUC connects Salinas Valley to Silicon Valley with fast, cheap fiber

A 91-mile fiber optic middle network for the Salinas Valley, stretching from Santa Cruz in the north, to Watsonville, Moss Landing, Castroville, Salinas, Gonzales and Soledad in the south, is on the way. On a unanimous vote this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission approved a $10.6 million grant to Sunesys, LLC from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

“The key point for me was that typically that these projects only make a price commitment for two years”, said Commissioner Michel Florio.… 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.


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

CPUC finds a legal way to treat ISPs as regulated phone companies

CPUC sends a Schat across incumbents’ bow.

Buried in last week’s California Public Utilities Commission consent agenda was a resolution granting a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to Schat Communications, an independent Internet servicer provider based in Bishop, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. Schat applied for the CPCN in order to qualify for California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) grants for two proposed last mile projects in Mono and Inyo Counties.… More