California Advanced Services Fund - Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account

 

The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), established on December 20, 2007, was extended indefinitely by Senate Bill (SB) 1040 approved on September 25, 2010.  SB 1040 expanded the CASF into three accounts:  (1) Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account; (2) Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account, and (3) Broadband Infrastructure Loan Account.  The latter two accounts are intended to address the needs unmet under the originally established CASF program.  In particular, the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account (Consortia Grant program) is intended “to fund the cost of broadband deployment activities other than the capital cost of facilities, as specified by the Commission.”

 

On December 16, 2010, the Commission opened an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) R.10-12-008 to implement the provisions of SB 1040 and to address possible changes to the program based on CASF’s three-year implementation experience.  Opening comments on the OIR were filed on January 21, 2011, and reply comments were filed on February 18, 2011.  The Scoping Memo filed on April 19, 2011, considered the comments, categorized the proceeding as quasi-legislative, and set forth Michael R. Peevey as the assigned Commissioner and Administrative Law Judge Thomas R. Pulsifer as the presiding officer.  The rulemaking was divided into two phases -  Phase I: Implementation of the Consortia Grant Fund and Phase II: Implementation of the Revolving Loan Account. 

 

Phase I of the proceeding resolved issues necessary to implement a process to select eligible consortia and set guidelines to award and disburse funds for qualifying Consortia Grant program activities.  On June 23, 2011, the Commission adopted Decision (D.)11-06-038 to implement the provision of SB 1040 relating to the Consortia Grant program.  On July 21, 2011, the CPUC Executive Director issued D.11-07-034 correcting non-substantive errors in certain attachments to D.11-06-038 and wording errors regarding the Los Angeles region funding.

 

In Resolution T-17349 (December 2, 2011), the Commission approved Year 1 budgets and three-year budget allowances for seven regional consortia totaling $1.7 million.  Similarly, the Commission approved  an additional seven grants in Resolution T-17355 (February 16, 2012) for $1.05 million. An additional two grants were approved in Resolution T-17445 (June 12, 2014) for $550,000. 

Grant funds will be used to promote ubiquitous broadband deployment and to advance broadband adoption in unserved and underserved areas by:

  • Increase sustainability of broadband infrastructure and projects;
  • Promote broadband deployment (availability) for residences in California;
  • Promote broadband access and adoption (knowledge of service options and ability to utilize services as well as subscription of services) for residences in California;
  • Increase the rate of broadband adoption by facilitating the impact of consumer education, outreach, and training;
  • Support those community-based parties, especially anchor institutions, who are working to increase deployment, access, and adoption.

With Governor Brown’s signing of AB1262 (Wood) on September 2, 2015, $5 Million has been reallocated from the CASF Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account to the CASF Consortia Grant Account. The new application process will be consistent with Commission (D.)11-06-038, and proposals will be due on January 29, 2016 for funding consideration. Please see the attached letter for more information.

General questions about the CASF Consortia Grant program can be directed to:

CASF_Consortia_Grant_Administrator@cpuc.ca.gov

 

NEW CONSORTIA GRANT APPLICATION CYCLE

January 29, 2016 was the deadline for the CASF Rural and Urban Regional Consortia Grant applications.  The CPUC received 15 applications.  List of applicants can be found here.  Please contact the listed consortium representative for more information.  

On October 27, 2016 the Commission received an application for Southern Border Broadband Consortium. This application was received after the deadline, and is not guaranteed consideration in this funding round. The contact information can be found here. Please contact the listed consortium representative for more information.

In Resolution T-17529 (August 18, 2016), the Commission approved funding for the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, the East Bay Broadband Consortium, and the Tahoe Basin Project totaling $736,660. The Commission also modified the Annual Summit requirement to authorize the Communications Division to conduct at least one Regional Consortia Learning Community Summit during the implementation of the reallocated $5 million in the Consortia Account.

In Resolution T-17537 (October 27, 2016), the Commission approved funding for the Inyo Mono Broadband Consortium, the Redwood Coast Connect Broadband Consortium, and the San Joaquin Valley Regional Broadband Consortium totaling $493,216.  

In Resolution T-17538 (November 15, 2016), the Commission approved funding for the Gold Country Broadband Consortium, the Inland Empire Regional Broadband Consortium, and the Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium totaling $898,750.

In Resolution T-17544 (December 1, 2016), the Commission approved funding for the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium, the Central Sierra Connect Broadband Consortium, and the Los Angeles County Regional Broadband Consortium totaling $1,099,000.  

In Resolution T-17550 (January 19, 2017), the Commission approved funding for the Eastern Sierra Connect Regional Broadband Consortium, the Broadband Consortium of the Pacific Coast, the Northeast California Connect Consortium , and the Upstate California Connect Consortium totaling $933,488. 

In Resolution T-17561 (April 6, 2017), the Commission approved funding for the Southern Border Broadband Consortium in the amount of $450,000.  

Approved CASF Consortia -

 CASF 2015 Consortia Summary Reports 

 Admin Manual Consortia, Feb 2017 

 Quarterly Report Documents Template 

 Consolidated Consortia Map - A map of Approved CASF Consortia as of April 30, 2017.

Performance Audit of California’s One Million New Internet Users (NIU) Coalition Consortia program