CenturyLink asks CPUC to bypass transparency and ethical practice

5 July 2017 by Steve Blum
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Insiders only.

CenturyLink wants the California Public Utilities Commission to hand wave its purchase of Level 3 through the normal approval process and, in effect, accept a settlement reached with three (of four) protesters as a substitute for a full, public review of the transaction. The pressure is due to a self-imposed deadline of 30 September 2017 for Level 3 and CenturyLink to close the sale. If the review follows standard CPUC procedures instead, a decision might not come for another six months or more.… More

Comcast's monopoly power won't be dulled by weak conditions

4 April 2015 by Steve Blum
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Nope, that’s not Pacman, it’s what Comcast’s market share will look like in California, with or without conditions.

More of the specific objections that led to a long list of proposed conditions for California Public Utilities Commission approval of the Comcast – Time Warner – Charter mega deal were posted yesterday. Although the juicy bits have been blacked out due to confidentiality concerns, the comments filed by a consumer advocacy group – TURN, which stands for Toward Utility Rate Normalisation the Utility Reform Network – back up the claim that the merger and market swap would give Comcast a virtual monopoly on broadband service in California.… More

CPUC urged to recognise differences between public agencies and private companies

29 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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Treat munis like munis.

A consumer advocacy group – The Utility Reform Network (TURN) – wants the California Public Utilities Commission to be more flexible in evaluating broadband subsidy proposals submitted by local governments. The comments came in response to proposed new rules that open up the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) to organisations other than traditional telephone companies.

As the proposed rules now stand, cities (and other local agencies) would have to meet the same financial requirements as private companies (at least those that aren’t traditional telephone companies).… More

Performance, not passion, builds broadband projects

Most of the opening and reply comments about expanding eligibility for California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) subsidies, my own included, can be summed up in three words: gimme, gimme, gimme.

Grant writers want to write grants, public agencies want to back fill budgets, independent ISPs want to play like the big boys and the big boys – telephone and cable companies – want to keep it for themselves. No surprise.

The road to broadband is paved with competence.