Hope is dead that bidders for federal broadband money in the ongoing Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction would have certainty or, perhaps, even a clue regarding the California Public Utilities Commission’s supplemental subsidy plan before the auction ends. That means that the incentive value of California’s money is zero for most, if not all, Internet service providers in the reverse auction that’ll determine which communities and states divvy up $16 billion earmarked by the Federal Communications Commission for rural broadband service upgrades.… More
The California Public Utilities Commission took another run at the numbers and the conclusion is the same: 69,000 low income Californian households live in places where the only wireline telecommunications company is Frontier Communications, which is their sole source for wired broadband service only if Frontier considers it profitable enough to offer it in the first place.
Internet service providers that win federal subsidies in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction for particular census block groups (CBGs) may be eligible for at least $73 million in supplemental subsidies from the California Advanced Services Fund. And maybe twice that much.
Yesterday, the California Public Utilities Commission defined – at least to a useful extent – how much money will be offered as an incentive for ISPs to bid aggressively for RDOF money in Californian CBGs where the digital divide is the widest.… More
Update 28 October 2020: The CPUC published a new list of targeted census block groups (CBGs), and clarified its proposed plan to offer additional subsidies to ISPs that successfully bid for RDOF subsidies in those CBGs. The list is here. The updated info about the money is here. The short version is that if the plan is approved by commissioners in December, then the CPUC will offer an amount equal to 10% of the ten year “reserve price” set by the FCC for each CBG – a total of $73 million from CASF – to ISPs that meet the CPUC’s Level 1 service requirements and other qualifications.… More
There’s about $194 million left for broadband infrastructure upgrades in the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). That’s less than half of pending grant requests, even before possible “kickers” for Internet service providers bidding for federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) subsidies are factored in.
It might not be even that much. My estimate includes an optimistic allowance for the cost of running the program, which has increased over time and will likely continue to grow.… More
The California Public Utilities Commission will put $150 million on the table for Internet service providers to add to their budgets as they bid in a reverse auction for federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) subsidies, if a plan proposed by staff is eventually approved by commissioners. Some of the details of that plan were released earlier this month, and a list of census block groups that will be eligible for “kickers” from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) was posted late on Friday.… More
A list of census block groups eligible for subsidies from both the federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and, provisionally, the California Advanced Services Fund was posted on the California Public Utilities Commission’s website late today.
The plan is to make CASF money available to Internet service providers that want to compete for federal subsidies in the neediest Californian communities, in order to incentivise them to bid more aggressively in the RDOF reverse auction. As much as $150 million might be available.… More
AT&T’s decision to stop selling legacy DSL service – the sort that uses 1990s technology and rides on regulated phone lines – affects 547,000 Californians, 1.4% of the state’s population. 67,000 of them will completely lose the ability to buy residential wireline broadband service from a commercial provider. Rural counties will be hit hard, with Tuolumne County taking the stiffest punch: 3.4% of its population will no longer be able to get wireline broadband service at any speed.… More
So far, the California Public Utilities Commission isn’t budging on its nonsensical plan to decide after the upcoming federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund reverse auction whether it will offer cash incentives to Internet service providers that might be bidding for broadband service and infrastructure subsidies for Californian communities.
Instead, it’s taking comments on a plan drafted by staff. Not comments from the general public though. Only those who file the necessary paperwork to become a “party” to the “proceeding” have a say.… More
The Federal Communications Commission included 24 obviously Californian contenders in its final list of 386 qualified bidders for Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) money (list is below). The announcement didn’t say which service tiers they’re eligible to bid in. There are four tiers, with higher service levels getting preference in the auction: 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload, 50 Mbps down/5 Mbps up, 100 Mbps down/20 Mbps up, 1 Gbps down/500 Mbps up (what the FCC considers to be gigabit service).… More