CASF Consortia Grant Program History

The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account (Consortia Grant program), among other CASF accounts, is created by Senate Bill (SB) 1040 (Padillla, Chapter 317, Statutes of 2010) on September 25, 2010.  SB 1040 authorized the Consortia Grant Account with $10 million funding to "fund the cost of broadband deployment activities other than the capital cost of facilities, as specified by the Commission."

To implement the provisions of SB 1040, the Commission opened an Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) R.10-12-008 on December 16, 2010 to address modifications 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.  

On April 19, 2011, the Commission adopted the Scoping Memo considering the comments on R.10-12-008, and categorizing the proceeding as quasi-legislative.  The OIR R.10-12-008 was divided into two phases, including Phase I of implementing a process to select eligible consortia and set guidelines to award and disburse funding for qualifying Consortia Grant program activities. Subsequently, the Commission adopted the following Decisions:

·         D.11-06-038 (June 23, 2011) implementing the provision of SB 1040 relating to the Consortia Grant program.         

·         D.11-07-034 (July 21, 2011) correcting non-substantive errors in certain attachments to D.11-06-038 and wording errors regarding the Los Angeles region funding.

The Commission opened the first Consortia Grant Cycle in 2011. The Consortia Grant funding was used to promote ubiquitous broadband deployment and to advance broadband adoption in unserved and underserved areas by:

·         Increasing sustainability of broadband infrastructure and projects;

·         Promoting broadband deployment (availability) for residences in California;

·         Promoting broadband access and adoption (knowledge of service options and ability to utilize services as well as subscription of services) for residences in California;

·         Increasing the rate of broadband adoption by facilitating the impact of consumer education, outreach, and training;

·         Supporting those community-based parties, especially anchor institutions, who are working to increase deployment, access, and adoption.

On September 2, 2015, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1262 (Wood, Chapter 242, Statutes of 2015) into law, which among other things, reallocated $5 million additional funding from the CASF Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account to the CASF Consortia Grant Account.  The Commission opened the 2016 Consortia Grant Cycle in October 2015.  The application process for the $5 million funding was consistent with Commission's D.11-06-038, and proposals were due on January 29, 2016 for funding consideration.  Please see the attached letter for more information.

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