California - SB4

Communications: California Advanced Services Fund.

Introduced

December 8, 2020

Description

<div style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; text-align: justify; margin: 0px 0px 1em;">
<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 12pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">This bill extends and makes various modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), including increasing the minimum speed of broadband infrastructure funded by the program, expanding the communities eligible for grants,&nbsp;and&nbsp;expanding the allowable expenditures from the fund. The bill also&nbsp;provides the Governor&rsquo;s Office of Business and Economic Development (&ldquo;GO-Biz&rdquo;) with new responsibilities, as specified, and makes&nbsp;changes&nbsp;to&nbsp;the surcharge collection mechanism for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications program.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 12pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Specifically,&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: bold;">this bill</span>:&nbsp;</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 12pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">GO-Biz:</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">1)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Directs GO-Biz to coordinate with other public and private third-parties to explore ways to facilitate streamlining of local land use approvals and construction and permit processes for projects related to broadband infrastructure deployment and connectivity.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 12pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-style: italic;">California Advanced Services Fund</span><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;</span></span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">1)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Modifies the goal&nbsp;of the program by extending the goal date to 2032, a 10-year extension.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">2)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Modifies the &ldquo;unserved&rdquo; designation from &ldquo;unserved households&rdquo; to &ldquo;unserved areas&rdquo;.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">3)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Provides that an &ldquo;unserved area&rdquo; means an area that has no facility-based broadband provider offering at least one tier of broadband service of at least 25 megabits per second (&ldquo;mbps&rdquo;) downstream,&nbsp;10 mbps upstream, and a latency that is sufficiently low to allow real-time interaction applications.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">4)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Prioritizes funding for projects in unserved areas where internet connectivity is available only at speeds at or below 10 mbps downstream and 1 mbps upstream connectivity, with a goal of achieving at least 100 mbps downstream.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">5)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Provides that moneys appropriated for the program may be used to match or leverage federal moneys for internet infrastructure and adoption.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">6)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Requires the commission to transition the&nbsp;program methodologies to service &ldquo;housing units&rdquo; and evaluate other program changes to align with other funding sources including, but not limited&nbsp;to, funding &ldquo;locations&rdquo;.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">7)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Requires the commission to maximize investments in new, robust, and scalable infrastructure and use program moneys to leverage federal and non-program moneys by undertaking activities including, but not limited to all of the following:</span></span></p>

<ol style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin: 0pt; padding-left: 0pt;" type="a">
<li style="margin-left: 31.33pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; padding-left: 4.67pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Provision of technical assistance to local governments and providers.</span></span></li>
<li style="margin-left: 32pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; padding-left: 4pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Assistance in developing grant applications.</span></span></li>
<li style="margin-left: 31.33pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; padding-left: 4.67pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Assistance in preparing definitive plans for deploying necessary infrastructure in each county.</span></span></li>
</ol>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">8)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Authorizes program moneys to be appropriated to fund projects that deploy broadband infrastructure to unserved nonresidential facilities used for local and state emergency response activities, including, but not limited to, fairgrounds.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">9)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Strikes provisions of&nbsp;current law, which appropriates specific&nbsp;amounts to CASF program sub-accounts,&nbsp;and instead authorizes the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)&nbsp;to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding appropriations for the program and its sub-accounts.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">10)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Authorizes the CPUC to impose and collect surcharges in a sum not to exceed $150,000,000 per year starting January 1, 2022 and continuing through the 2032 calendar year.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">11)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Strikes&nbsp;provisions of current law that&nbsp;provide an existing facilities-based broadband provider&nbsp;an opportunity to&nbsp;object to and block a CASF application on an annual basis if the ISP intends&nbsp;to upgrade or extend service to&nbsp;unserved areas eligible for a CASF grant&nbsp;within six months</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">12)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Modifies the projects eligible for grant awards by requiring that eligible projects be capable of providing broadband access to unserved areas or unserved households at speeds of a minimum of 100 mbps downstream and 20 mbps upstream, or the most current broadband definition speed standard set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),&nbsp;whichever broadband access speed is greater.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">13)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Strikes provisions of&nbsp;existing&nbsp;law which provide that a local government agency may only be eligible for an infrastructure grant under specified conditions.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">14)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Strikes&nbsp;provisions of existing law which&nbsp;requires that&nbsp;public housing grants shall only be awarded to&nbsp;unserved housing developments. The bill also strikes a subdivision of current law that provides that an unserved housing development is unserved when at least one housing unit within the housing development is not offered broadband internet services.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">15)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Strikes provisions of existing law that specify the methodologies that may be used to identify the intrastate revenues of an interconnected voice-over internet protocol (&ldquo;VoIP&rdquo;) phone service provider for&nbsp;purposes of calculating&nbsp;surcharges to fund&nbsp;universal service&nbsp;programs, such as CASF or DDTP.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">16)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Requires the CPUC, on or before April 1, 2023 and biennially thereafter, to conduct a fiscal and performance audit of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF program. The bill also modifies existing CASF program reporting requirements to continue indefinitely.&nbsp;</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">17)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span>Provides that this bill is an urgency measure to expedite the deployment of broadband infrastructure and internet service to unserved rural and urban communities, which will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies, including telehealth and distance learning.</span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 12pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program&nbsp;</span><span style="font-style: italic;">(DDTP)</span></span></span></p>

<p style="margin-top: 0pt; line-height: normal; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-left: 18pt; margin-bottom: 12pt; text-indent: -18pt; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">1)<span style="font-variant-numeric: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Modifies existing DDTP surcharge collection methodology by authorizing the CPUC to impose and collect a surcharge to fund DDTP, in a sum not&nbsp;to exceed $100,000,000 per year.</span></span></p>
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