CASF Background and History
The following bullets summarize the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program history from program establishment to more recent changes.
- December 20, 2007: The Commission authorized the CASF by adopting Decision 07-12-054 in accordance with Public Utilities (P.U.) Code § 701. The CASF provided grants to “telephone corporations” as defined under P.U. Code § 234 to bridge the “digital divide” in unserved and underserved areas in the state. With an initial funding of $100 million, the CASF supported projects that a) provided broadband services to areas currently without broadband access and b) built out facilities in underserved areas, if funds remained.
- June 12, 2008: The Commission adopted the CASF application requirements, timelines, and scoring criteria for parties to qualify for broadband project funding in Resolution T-17143. The Legislature reaffirmed the Commission’s creation of the CASF program in Senate Bill (SB) 1193, which Governor Schwarzenegger signed on September 27, 2008, and codified the program as P.U. Code § 281.
- September 25, 2010: Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1040 (Chapter 317, Stats 2010), which provided an additional $125 million, allocated to the following CASF accounts: $100 million to the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, $10 million to the Rural and Regional Urban Consortia Account, and $15 million to the Broadband Infrastructure Loan Account.
- December 16, 2010: The Commission opened a rulemaking proceeding, R.10-12-008, to implement the provisions of SB 1040 and improve the program based on CASF’s three year implementation experience.
- June 28, 2011: The Commission approved Decision 11-06-038 to implement the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia grant program to help fund activities promoting broadband deployment, access, and adoption with a budget of $10 million.
- November 1, 2012: The Commission opened a rulemaking proceeding, R.12-10-012, which proposed to extend CASF applicant eligibility to facility-based broadband service providers that hold neither a CPCN nor WIR. The Commission further considered expanding CASF eligibility to any commercial provider of broadband access or any nonprofit entity, including government entities or community anchor institutions that elect to provide facilities based broadband service.
- December 18, 2014: The Commission approved Decision 14-12-039 to implement the Public Housing Account grant program pursuant to Assembly Bill 1299.
- June 21, 2018: The Commission adopted Decision 18-06-032 to implement the CASF Broadband Adoption Account and modify the Public Housing and Loan Account pursuant to Assembly Bill 1665.
- April 25, 2019: The Commission adopted Decision 19-04-022 implementing the CASF Line Extension Pilot Program.
- September 2, 2020: The Commission opened a new rulemaking proceeding, R.20-08-021, proposing to implement programmatic changes and adopt rules that will maximize broadband infrastructure deployment and leverage multiple funding sources to better meet the goals of the program.
The following are legislative bills that have shaped the CASF.
- Senate Bill 740 (2013 - 2014) requires the Commission to give priority to last mile projects serving unserved households, that eligible non-CPCN/ WIR holders must provide a last mile connection to an unserved household, that the CPUC must give existing providers the opportunity to upgrade their networks in areas serving underserved households before funds are awarded to a new provider, and that local governments may apply for funds only if its project provides a connection to an unserved household or business and no other eligible entity has applied.
- Assembly Bill 1299 (2013 - 2014) created an additional account under the CASF called the Broadband Public Housing Account to support projects to deploy local area networks and to increase adoption rates in publicly supported housing communities. These efforts are funded through $20 million from the CASF Broadband Infrastructure Account and $5 million from the Revolving Loan Account, respectively.
- Assembly Bill 1665 (2017) amended Pub. Util. Code Sections 281 and 914.7 to extend the date of the CASF goal from 2015 to 2022 and modified the goal to approve funding for broadband infrastructure projects that will provide broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California households in each consortia region, as identified by the Commission on or before January 1, 2017. Assembly Bill 1665 revised eligibility requirements for the Broadband Infrastructure Account and creates a Right of First Refusal process and a Line Extension program. It also created the Broadband Adoption Account and eliminated the Loan Account.