Proposed Open-Access Middle-Mile

Under SB 156, during the rule-making proceeding at CPUC

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Presentation to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors- Slides

Mendocino County Digital Infrastructure Projects



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Broadband Legislation Tracking:

California Legislation:

  • AB 2252 – Requires providers to report outages after a disaster

Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry

  • AB 2750 – Requires the state to create a digital equity plan

Introduced by Assembly Member Mia Bonta (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Eduardo Garcia, Quirk-Silva, and Wood)

  • AB 2752 – Requires the CPUC to map last-mile

Introduced by Assembly Member Wood (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Mia Bonta, Eduardo Garcia, and Quirk-Silva)

  • AB 1944Local government: open and public meetings

Introduced by Assembly Members Lee and Cristina Garcia

  • AB 2749Communications: California Advanced Services Fund

Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk-Silva (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Mia Bonta, Eduardo Garcia, and Wood)

  • AB 2751 – Requires the state and state agencies to only do business with an internet service provider offering affordable home internet service to households participating in certain public assistance programs.

Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Mia Bonta, Quirk-Silva, and Wood)

  • SB 857 –Continues existing law and programs to require the CPUC to maintain a program to establish an equitable local rate support structure aided by universal service rate support to telephone corporations serving areas where the cost of providing services exceeds providers’ charges. Question: this seems like it’s just for phone service; can we expand this to broadband? It would be great.

Introduced by Senator Hueso (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Patterson and Wood) (Coauthor: Assembly Member Quirk-Silva)

Federal Legislation

FCC Broadband Programs

  • $98 million to implement the Broadband DATA Act to improve broadband mapping accuracy and accountability.
  • $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund to establish an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, under which eligible households may receive a discount off the cost of broadband service (up to $50 monthly benefit per eligible household and up to $75 on tribal lands).
  • $250 million for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
  • $1.9 billion to “Rip and Replace” certain unsecure equipment as directed by recent FCC regulations.

U.S. Department OF Education was appropriated $82 billion for continuation of CARES Act programs, allocated as follows:

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R 1319, “Act”) into law.

The key broadband-related provisions in the bill include the following:

  • Emergency Connectivity Fund

o    The $1.9 trillion package includes $7.17 billion for an Emergency Connectivity Fund to enable remote learning and to extend broadband connectivity to students in their homes, for which the FCC is to issue rules within 60 days of the Act’s enactment.

  • Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund

o    Section 604 appropriates $10 billion to a Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund that will be through U.S. Treasury Department. It will likely be administered like the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund with $100 million to each state. Broadband capital projects can be funded.

  • NTIA Broadband Programs
    • $300 million to implement a broadband infrastructure deployment grant program benefiting rural areas, prioritizing applications delivering 100/20 Mbps or better broadband service in areas without access to 25/3 Mbps broadband service.
    • $285 million to create the Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives at the NTIA, focusing on access and adoption for minority communities.
    • $1 billion to expand access and adoption of broadband on tribal lands.

[NTIA has 45 days to stand up programs and issue Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs).