CASF grants and loans are designed to assist in the building and/or upgrading of broadband infrastructure in areas that are not served or are underserved by existing broadband provider. Under rules adopted in D.12-02-015, California 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. 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.
- An “unserved” area is an area that is not served by any form of wireline or wireless facilities-based broadband, such that Internet connectivity is available only through dial up service.
- An “underserved” area is an 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.
CASF funding is available to entities with a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) that qualify as a “telephone corporation” as defined under P.U. Code section 234 or wireless carriers who are registered with the Commission (i.e., hold a WIR). Wireless carriers need not obtain a CPCN to qualify for CASF funding. 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.
CASF funding is also available to non-telephone corporations which are facilities based broadband service providers. The Commission shall use the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) definition of a facilities-based broadband service provider, which is generally defined as any entity providing internet access service or middle mile transport, over its own fixed or wireless facilities to residences, businesses, or other institutions. However, non-telephone corporations must provide last-mile broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing facilities-based provider and only receive funding to provide access to households that are unserved or underserved.
The Commission will consider applications from satellite service providers provided that the applicants are able to prove functionality, and are able to meet the speeds required.
SUBMISSION AND TIMELINES
Resolution T-17443 (approved June 26, 2014) implements new timelines for applicants to CASF, including how and when local government agencies and non-telephone corporations may apply pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 740. It also describes how existing providers may exercise their right of first refusal as provided under SB 740. In addition, this Resolution lists areas in California that various CASF-funded regional consortia groups and state agencies have identified as priorities for broadband infrastructure deployment.
Submission procedures and timelines will be posted here.
PREVIOUS PROJECTS PROPOSED UNDER THE CASF GRANT/LOAN ACCOUNT PROGRAM
CASF Submitted Application Project Summaries
Status of CASF Applications to Offer Broadband
Commission-Approved CASF Projects