Subsidised dark fiber leverages private investment for Salina Valley last mile upgrades

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Middle mile threads last mile gaps; last mile follows.

A project that will bring fast, fiber optic broadband to the Salinas Valley is nearing the halfway mark and could be done by this coming fall. Sunesys LLC (now owned by Crown Castle) won a $10.6 million grant from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) in 2014 to build a 91-mile open access middle mile fiber line from Santa Cruz to Soledad. It will bring cheap, wholesale bandwidth to towns along the way – Castroville, Chualar and Gonzales, for example – that lack Internet access that meets the California Public Utilities Commission's minimum standard of 6 Mbps dow

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Broadband lifeline program unjustly slow but has room to improve

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You'll have to wait and see what next year's model looks like.

There's good news and bad news in the full text of the Federal Communications Commission's lifeline subsidy program for broadband service, which was released yesterday. The bad news is that previous summaries were correct about the low performance standards for subsidised broadband:

  • 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds for fixed service (wireline or wireless), except where existing networks can't support that level. Then the download standard slips to 4 Mbps.</l
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AT&T offers $10 service to low income homes lucky enough to have wireline service

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Oops. There goes the $10 a month service.

AT&T is rolling out its low cost Internet access program for low income households. It's one of the conditions attached to the FCC's approval of AT&T's purchase of DirecTv last year.

It only applies to homes where Internet access service "is delivered to a fixed location over a physical wire or cable". In other words, the wireless service AT&T wants to use to replace wireli

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Charter gets tentative federal approval and conditions for Time Warner takeover

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The Federal Communications Commission and the federal justice department gave their conditional blessing yesterday to Charter Communications' proposed purchase of Time Warner and Bright House cable systems. Links to the documents that have been published so far are below. The justice department's settlement was based on its belief that the merger would reduce competition in the video distribution market. The FCC's conditions deal with both broadband and television service.

The known highlights are...

  • No consumer data caps or usage-based pricing allowed for seven years. The restriction applies
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The week AT&T, cable lobbyists ran up the score in Sacramento

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It could have been a winning week (or two) for broadband infrastructure advocates in the California capitol, but instead last week turned into a victory march for AT&T and cable lobbyists as they fought to further entrench the cosy monopoly/duopoly conditions that underpin their business models. I've been blogging more or less on a play by play basis, but I think it'd be helpful to try to pull it briefly together.

It comes down to four key assembly bills, all of which landed in the assembly utilities and commerce committee over the past couple of weeks:

AB 1758 - an effort by

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Bait and switch for California bill to allow AT&T’s rural abandonment

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Not the result he was expecting.

No real changes were made in to a proposed new law that would allow AT&T to pull out its wireline systems in rural and inner city communities in California, despite promises to the contrary.

The new text of assembly bill 2395 is now available, and it's nothing like the way it was characterised by AT&T and its legislative cheering section <a href="

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AT&T, cable lobbyists gut California broadband subsidies

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Treachery.

Broadband infrastructure subsidies are off the table in Sacramento, thanks to a coordinated campaign by AT&T staff lobbyists and the cable industry's political front organisation, the California Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA). Assembly bill 1758 was pulled by its author, assemblyman Mark Stone (D - Santa Cruz) after it became clear that the California assembly's utilities and commerce committee was going to spike it at its meeting this afternoon.

Originally, AB 1758 would have put $150 milli

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Faster broadband standard set by federal agriculture department

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It'll get there eventually.

Minimum speeds for guaranteed broadband infrastructure loans from the federal agriculture department have been raised. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) opened another round of loans earlier this month, and upped the benchmark speed for both area eligibility and funded infrastructure from 4 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload to 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up, for wireline and fixed and mobile wireless projects.

That brings the RUS minimum speeds in line with other federal broadband subsidy programs, particularly the Connect America Fund p

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AT&T says don’t worry about copper lines, California legislators say OK

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History says otherwise.

AT&T is one step closer to getting blanket permission to yank its copper networks in rural California, and replace them with wireless service as it pleases. On a lopsided vote, the assembly utilities and commerce committee voted to move assembly bill 2395 along toward a full floor vote. Written by AT&T and carried on its behalf by assemblyman Evan Low (D - Silicon Valley), the bill would allow AT&T to re

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Charter-Time Warner deal gets tentative OK in California

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Broadband counts.

Charter Communication's purchase of Time Warner and Bright House cable systems in California should be approved if the company sticks to promises that it has made and to agreements it has reached with parties that previously opposed the deal. That's the draft decision offered by Karl Bemesderfer, an administrative law judge with the California Public Utilities Commission.

Bemesderfer's proposed decision will go to a vote of the full commission next month. In it, he say

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Recent posts

Middle mile threads last mile gaps; last mile follows.\n\nA project that will bring fast, fiber optic broadband to the Salinas Valley is nearing the hal...
You\'ll have to wait and see what next year\'s model looks like.\n\nThere\'s good news and bad news in the full text of the Federal Communications Commissi...
Oops. There goes the $10 a month service.\n\nAT&T is rolling out its low cost Internet access program for low income households. It\'s one of the con...
\n\nThe Federal Communications Commission and the federal justice department gave their conditional blessing yesterday to Charter Communications\' propos...
\n\nIt could have been a winning week (or two) for broadband infrastructure advocates in the California capitol, but instead last week turned into a vic...
Not the result he was expecting.\n\nNo real changes were made in to a proposed new law that would allow AT&T to pull out its wireline systems in rur...
Treachery.\n\nBroadband infrastructure subsidies are off the table in Sacramento, thanks to a coordinated campaign by AT&T staff lobbyists and the c...
It\'ll get there eventually.\n\nMinimum speeds for guaranteed broadband infrastructure loans from the federal agriculture department have been raised. Th...
History says otherwise.\n\nAT&T is one step closer to getting blanket permission to yank its copper networks in rural California, and replace them w...
Broadband counts.\n\nCharter Communication\'s purchase of Time Warner and Bright House cable systems in California should be approved if the company stic...

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