Background

The Federal Funding Account, created by Senate Bill 156, will fund last-mile broadband infrastructure projects to connect unserved and underserved Californians with high-speed broadband service. The Federal Funding Account has a $2 billion budget made up of state and federal funds. Projects built using the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds must be built by 2027. Read this fact sheet for more info on the last-mile broadband funding.

Federal Funding Account Rules and Guidelines

Entities interested in applying should familiarize themselves with the following.

Next Steps:  The CPUC will announce the application and challenge process deadlines in 2022 and priority areas for funding. Updates will appear on this webpage and be noticed on the Broadband Deployment proceeding (R.20-09-001) and the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) proceeding (R.20-08-021).

Report on Broadband Factors for Last-Mile Providers

The Broadband Factors for Last-Mile Connectivity report presents considerations based on best practices and industry standards regarding network design and technical criteria for last-mile providers interconnecting with middle-mile networks. The analysis includes considerations from the public comments filed with the CPUC on middle-mile locations and network characteristics. 

The CPUC engaged consultants to provide relevant information on the technical performance characteristics, network design, regeneration points, interconnection points, tie-ins, and other considerations that would increase the attractiveness and usefulness of California's planned statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network for last-mile commercial internet service providers. 

Federal Funding Account Implementation

The CPUC is implementing the Federal Funding Account in Rulemaking 20-09-001. The following is a timeline of the implementation.

  • September 23, 2021:  Ruling issued requesting public comments on a staff proposal to implement the funding application rules and guidelines.
  • November 11, 2021:  Ruling issued requesting public comments on a proposed definition of “urban” and “rural” for apportionment of last-mile funds.
  • April 21, 2022:  Decision 22-04-055 issued adopting the Federal Funding Account rules and guidelines.
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