(1) Existing law establishes the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, known as "GO-Biz," within the Governor's office to serve the Governor as the lead entity for economic strategy and the marketing of California on issues relating to business development, private sector investment, and economic growth. This bill would require the office to coordinate with other relevant state and local agencies and national organizations to explore ways to facilitate streamlining of local land use approvals and construction permit processes for projects related to broadband infrastructure deployment and connectivity. (2) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) program 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. Existing law requires the commission, in approving CASF infrastructure projects, to give preference to projects in areas where only dial-up internet service is available or where no internet service is available. Existing law authorizes the commission to impose a surcharge to collect $330,000,000 for deposit into the CASF beginning January 1, 2018, and continuing through the 2022 calendar year. Existing law establishes 4 accounts, the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account, the Broadband Public Housing Account, and the Broadband Adoption Account within the CASF and specifies the amount of surcharge revenues to be deposited into each account, subject to appropriation by the Legislature. Existing law specifies, among other things, eligibility criteria for grants awarded from each of those accounts. Existing law prohibits the commission from approving funding from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account for a project to deploy broadband to a delineated unserved area if the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service throughout the project area, and, except as provided, prohibits the commission from publicly disclosing information submitted to the commission that includes the provider's plans for future broadband deployment, as specified. This bill would require the commission, in approving CASF infrastructure projects, to instead prioritize projects in unserved areas, as defined, where internet connectivity is available only at speeds at or below 10 megabits per second (mbps) downstream and one mbps upstream or areas with no internet connectivity, with a goal of achieving at least 100 mbps downstream. This bill would authorize moneys appropriated for purposes of CASF program to be used to match or leverage federal moneys for internet infrastructure and adoption, as specified. The bill would require the commission to maximize investments in new, robust, and scalable infrastructure and use CASF moneys to leverage federal and non-CASF moneys by undertaking specified activities. The bill would delete the commission's authorization to collect $330,000,000 for deposit into the CASF beginning January 1, 2018, and continuing through the 2022 calendar year, thereby authorizing the commission to collect an unspecified amount for an unspecified duration to fund the accounts within the CASF, and would delete the requirement that specified amounts of those surcharge revenues be deposited into those accounts. The bill would require the commission to ensure that each service supplier, as defined, remits to the commission revenues from a monthly surcharge not to exceed $0.23 per month per access line for deposit into the CASF. The bill would delete the prohibitions on the commission approving projects in areas that the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service to that area and publicly disclosing information relating to the provider's plans for future broadband deployment. The bill would revise, among other things, the eligibility criteria for grants awarded from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and the Broadband Public Housing Account, as specified. This bill would require the commission to establish the Broadband Bond Financing and Securitization Account within the CASF and deposit the moneys received by the commission from the CASF surcharge into the account for purposes of funding costs related to broadband bond financing and securities. The bill would require each local government agency or nonprofit organization allocated moneys from this account to file specified reports with the commission. (3) Existing law requires the commission to conduct interim and final financial and performance audits of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for specified purposes and to report the interim findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2020, and to report the final findings by April 1, 2023. Existing law repeals this requirement on January 1, 2027. This bill would instead require the commission, on or before April 1, 2023, and biennially thereafter, to conduct a fiscal and performance audit of the implementation and effectiveness of the CASF for those purposes and to report those findings to the Legislature. The bill would require the commission to submit that report in perpetuity. (4) Existing law requires the commission, until April 1, 2023, to annually provide a report to the Legislature that includes certain information, including the remaining unserved areas in the state, the status of the California Advanced Services Fund balance, and the projected amount to be collected in each year. This bill would require the commission to submit that report in perpetuity. (5) Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime. Because certain of the above provisions would be part of the act and a violation of a commission action implementing this bill's requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. (6) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect. (7) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
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From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 7.
Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.
|Bill Text Versions||Format|
|12/07/20 - Introduced|
|No related documents.|
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