California - SB4
Communications: California Advanced Services Fund.
December 8, 2020
This bill would:
- Extend the CASF from December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2032 and establish regular reporting and stakeholder consultation requirements for the CASF.
- Redefine an unserved area as an area in which the population has no facility-based broadband provider offering at speeds of at least 100 mbps downstream/20 mbps upstream or the federal speed threshold, depending on whichever is greater.
- Require the CPUC to prioritize projects in unserved areas without internet connectivity or unserved areas with connectivity at or below speeds of 10 mbps up/1 mbps down.
- Permit the use of CASF monies to match or leverage federal funds and requires the CPUC to provide technical assistance to applicants, including helping develop grant applications.
- Delete specified minimum appropriation amounts for certain accounts within the CASF and instead authorizes the CPUC to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding appropriations to specific accounts within the CASF.
- Replace existing law capping the annual and total funds that can be collected for the CASF with a $150 million cap on the total annual surcharge revenues that can be collected, and remove provisions of existing law that limit the CPUC’s ability to modify the Universal Service Fund surcharge mechanism.
- Eliminate the right of first refusal process by which an incumbent ISP can block or delay a proposed CASF grant if the incumbent ISP intends to extend or upgrade service to the project area within six months.
- Increase the minimum speed for CASF-funded infrastructure from 10/1 mbps to 25/3 mbps and establishes a goal of CASF projects providing downstream speeds of at least 100 mbps.
- Delete existing law that restricts a local government’s ability to obtain for CASF grants unless the project is for an unserved business or household for which no other entity has applied.
- Delete existing law that restricts funds in the CASF’s Broadband Public Housing Account to public housing facilities that meet specified “unserved” criteria.
- Permit the CPUC to use CASF revenues to fund projects deploy broadband infrastructure to certain unserved nonresidential facilities used for local and state emergency response, including, but not limited to, fairgrounds.
- Require the CPUC to conduct an audit and performance review of the CASF every other year and extends these auditing and reporting duties indefinitely.
- Require GO-Biz to coordinate with public agencies and national organizations to explore ways to streamline local land use approvals and permits for broadband infrastructure deployment.