On September 18, 2020, the Commission opened a proceeding, Rulemaking (R.) 20-09-001 to set the strategic direction and determine changes necessary to expeditiously deploy reliable, fast, and affordable broadband internet access services that connect all Californians. The core purpose of this rulemaking is to accelerate the deployment of and access to quality, affordable internet for all Californians. The Commission will be exploring short and medium-term actions in order to achieve this goal.

Relevant California law: Pub. Util. Code Section 281 directs the Commission, among other things, to “encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies….”  (Pub. Util. Code § 281(a).)


Background of Proceeding

Communities across California face a multitude of barriers for the deployment of resilient and accessible networks. Broadband internet access service in urban communities varies by neighborhood, with great discrepancies in infrastructure technology. Communities in rural areas often lack sufficient wireline and wireless broadband internet access service, as well as the backhaul infrastructure to provide broadband services. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the extent to which broadband access is essential for public safety, public health and welfare, education, and economic resilience.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order (E.O.) N-73-201 on August 14, 2020 directing state agencies to bridge the digital divide and ordering 15 specific actions of these agencies to increase access to broadband in the areas of Mapping and Data, Funding, Deployment, and Adoption.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package or American Rescue Plan. In total, this law is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan that includes funds for states to deploy last-mile broadband Internet networks. The law requires funds to be expended by the end of 2024 and projects to be completed by the end of 2026. Read our last-mile fact sheet. 

On July 20, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 156 into law, directing the creation of a statewide open-access middle-mile network. The law requires this Commission to provide the locations for the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network in a Commission staff report. SB 156 creates a Federal Funding Account where funds will be deposited and directs this Commission to allocate $2,000,000,000 from this new account to implement a program to connect unserved and underserved communities by applicable federal deadlines.

R.20-09-001 Proceeding Information

This proceeding is divided into three phases. Phase I-A addresses requirements on communications service providers and California energy Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) related to coordination efforts and restoration of facilities after a disaster such as a fire. Phase I-B addresses a proposal for how to use the Digital Divide Account. Phase II is separated into two decisions, a Phase II-A decision on IOU broadband infrastructure deployment pilot projects and Phase II-B decision on digital redlining investigation. Phase III implements recent broadband legislation including the development of locations for the statewide open-access middle-mile network and rules for the Federal Funding Account required in SB 156.


All filings related to Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Proceeding including Documents filed, Rulings, Decisions, and Public Comments are available here.


Schedule of Events

Phase I Proposed Decision, Issued
August 2021 
Deadline for Motions on Phase II-A Requesting Evidentiary Hearing, Filed and Served
August 16, 2021
Phase II-A IOU Broadband Pilot Proposal, Filed and Served
July 30, 2021
Phase II-A Comments, Filed and Served
August 30, 2021
Phase II-A Reply Comments, Filed and Served (Matter Submitted)
September 13 2021
Phase II-B, Comments, Filed and Served
July 2, 2021
Phase II-A Reply Comments, Filed and Served
July 26, 2021
Phase II-A Proposed Decision, Issued
Phase II-B Proposed Decision, Issued
Phase III Middle-Mile Public Comments, Filed and Served
September 3, 2021
Phase III Middle-Mile Reply Comments, Filed and Served September 21, 2021
Phase III Federal Funding Account Staff Proposal
Quarter 4, 2021
Phase III Federal Funding Account Proposed Decision
December 2021-March 2022

*Schedule Subject to Change 


Phase III. Implementing Broadband Legislation

Middle-Mile Locations

Commissioner Guzman Aceves Ruling Requesting Comments on Middle-Mile Locations (August 6, 2021)

Pursuant to the recently enacted Senate Bill (SB) 156, this Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling opens a public comment process to collect recommendations for the locations for a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network. Parties are requested to file and serve comments by September 3, 2021. The deadline for reply comments is September 21, 2021.

Provide informal public comment here: https://apps.cpuc.ca.gov/apex/f?p=401:65:0::NO

Learn how to become a party and provide formal public comment here: https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/pao

On November 16, 2021, the CPUC sent this letter to the California Department of Technology concurring on initial middle-mile locations.

Additional Information About Proceeding


The CPUC Wants to Hear from You

Written public comments may also be provided at any time while the proceeding is open using the "Add Public Comment" button on the "Public Comment" tab of the Docket Card for R.20-09-001, available here.  

Please check the Events Calendar for any upcoming meetings. 

Phase II Pilot Proposals Workshop

  • What: In this workshop, Southern California Edison Company, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, PacifiCorp, Liberty Utilities, Bear Valley Electric Service (collectively, the Joint Utilities) will discuss their Broadband pilot proposals. 1 Stakeholders will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback during a general Q&A and comment period after the presentations. Where feasible, feedback from participates will be used to inform the utilities’ Advice Letter filings for the proposed pilots that will be submitted later this year. (R.20 09-001)
  • When: June 30, 2021, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Virtual via the following remote participation options:
  • Meeting materials