The Commission created the CASF in Decision (D.) 07-12-054 to increase availability of high-speed communications service (what is commonly called “broadband”) in areas of California that are currently unserved or underserved. Under rules adopted in D.12-02-015, California now provides grants of up to 70% of construction costs for projects in unserved areas and up to 60% of construction costs for projects in underserved areas.
To be eligible for a CASF grant, an applicant must be a “telephone corporation” under the Public Utilities Code. This requirement limits eligibility to carriers holding a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the Commission and to wireless carriers registered with the Commission.
A new definition of an underserved area, “where broadband is available, but no wireline or wireless facilities-based provider offers service at advertised speeds of at least 6 mbps download and 1.5 mbps upload”. More information on how to register with the Commission is available at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Information+for+providing+service/forms+for+applying+provider.htm. For information on how to register your wireless company with the Commission and become eligible for grants from the CASF please refer to the CASF Eligibility for Wireless Broadband Providers.
D. 12-02-015 also creates the Revolving Loan Program to provide supplemental financing for projects also applying for CASF grant funding. Using the same project and applicant eligibility requirements as the Infrastructure Grant Program, CASF applicants may obtain loans of up to 20% of projects costs, with a maximum of $500,000. Resolution T-17369, approved on August 23, 2012, sets the application and borrower fees associated with the loan program.
Under Resolution T-17362, application deadlines for the CASF Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program and the Revolving Loan Program (contingent on the implementation of the Loan Program) are:
1. October 1, 2012, for unserved areas;
2. February 1, 2013, for underserved areas not previously funded by the CASF and hybrid projects that cover both unserved and underserved areas; and,
3. A date to be determined for projects in underserved areas where the existing broadband infrastructure was partially funded by a CASF grant.
In addition to mailing the application to the Commission, applicants must also submit their project summaries to a distribution list maintained by Communications Division staff.
Prospective applicants who have questions about the application process can send an email to CASF_Application_Questions@cpuc.ca.gov.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
California Broadband Availability Map CASF Application Tool Definitions
Round 6 CASF Application Average Speed Calculator Template
CASF Application Tool Statewide Raw Data (Round 6 data as of 06/30/12):
California Broadband Availability GIS Data and Maps
NOTICE: If you have used the California Broadband Availability interactive website prior to September 14, 2012, please be informed that the Census Block Group Household counts did not include mobile broadband coverage. An updated count of Households by Census Block Group including mobile broadband coverage is now available.
Pending New CASF Applications to Offer Broadband (CBGs, ZIP Codes & Maps)
NOTICE: The deadline for submitting challenges for pending applications in underserved and hybrid areas is March 4, 2013 (21 days after the web-posting of the project summary information and map. This will provide sufficient time to conduct a challenge due to the high volume and magnitude of the project proposals received). Challenges must be e-mailed to CASF_Application_Questions@cpuc.ca.gov with the subject line heading of: "Challenge to a Pending New CASF Application <project name>”. Please reference the CASF FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), “Q: How will challenges to unserved vs. underserved/served areas be reviewed?” to obtain details on what to include in your challenge.
Status of CASF Applications to Offer Broadband
Commission-Approved CASF Projects - webpage containing maps, CBGs, and resolutions regarding CASF Commission-Approved projects to date.
Webinar: Demonstration on how to submit an online CASF Infrastructure Grant/Loan Application
- Mere submission of an application does not guarantee Commission approval. Commission approval of projects comes only after staff review. Applicants who commence a project prior to Commission approval do so at their own risk and are responsible for all costs and expenses incurred.
- Applicants should include in their total project costs, costs and expenses for a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. Additionally, the time necessary for a CEQA review should be included in the timeline for total project completion.