SB 745, as introduced, Hueso. Telecommunications: universal service: California Advanced Services Fund.
Existing law, the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, establishes a program of cooperative federalism for the regulation of telecommunications to attain the goal of local competition, while implementing specific, predictable, and sufficient federal and state mechanisms to preserve and advance universal service, consistent with certain universal service principles. The universal service principles include the principle that consumers in all regions of the nation, including low-income consumers and those in rural, insular, and high-cost areas, should have access to telecommunications and information services, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, that are reasonably comparable to those services provided in urban areas and that are available at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates charged for similar services in urban areas. The act authorizes each state to adopt regulations to provide for additional definitions and standards to preserve and advance universal service within the state, only to the extent that they adopt additional specific, predictable, and sufficient mechanisms that do not rely on or burden federal universal service support mechanisms.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including telephone corporations, as defined. Existing law establishes the California Advanced Services Fund, referred to as the CASF, in the State Treasury. Existing law requires the commission to develop, implement, and administer the CASF to encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications services to all Californians that will promote economic growth, job creation, and substantial social benefits of advanced information and communications technologies, as provided in specified decisions of the commission and in the CASF statute. Existing law establishes 4 accounts, the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account, the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account, and the Broadband Public Housing Account within the CASF. Existing law provides that moneys in the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account are available for grants to eligible consortia to fund the cost of broadband deployment activities other than the capital cost of facilities, as specified by the commission, and provides that an eligible consortium may include representatives of organizations, including local and regional government, public safety, elementary and secondary education, health care, libraries, postsecondary education, community-based organizations, tourism, parks and recreation, agricultural, and business.
This bill would specifically include representatives of workforce organizations and air pollution control or air quality management districts amongst the persons that can be included in an eligible consortium.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 281 of the Public Utilities Code is
2amended to read:
(a) The commission shall develop, implement, and
4administer the California Advanced Services Fund program to
5encourage deployment of high-quality advanced communications
6services to all Californians that will promote economic growth,
7job creation, and the substantial social benefits of advanced
8information and communications technologies, consistent with
P3 1(b) (1) The goal of the program is, no later than December 31,
22015, to approve funding for infrastructure projects that will
3provide broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California
5(2) In approving infrastructure projects, the commission shall
6give priority to projects that provide last-mile broadband access
7to households that are unserved by an existing facilities-based
8broadband provider. The commission shall provide each applicant,
9and any party challenging an application, the opportunity to
10demonstrate actual levels of broadband service in the project area,
11which the commission shall consider in reviewing the application.
12(c) The commission shall establish the following accounts within
14(1) The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
15(2) The Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant
17(3) The Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account.
18(4) The Broadband Public Housing Account.
19(d) (1) All moneys collected by the surcharge authorized by
20the commission pursuant to Decision 07-12-054 shall be
21transmitted to the commission pursuant to a schedule established
22by the commission. The commission shall transfer the moneys
23received to the Controller for deposit in the California Advanced
24Services Fund. Moneys collected on and after January 1, 2011,
25shall be deposited in the following amounts in the following
27(A) One hundred ninety million dollars ($190,000,000) into the
28Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
29(B) Ten million dollars ($10,000,000) into the Rural and Urban
30Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account.
31(C) Fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) into the Broadband
32Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account.
33(2) All interest earned on moneys in the fund shall be deposited
34in the fund.
35(3) The commission shall not collect moneys, by imposing the
36surcharge described in paragraph (1) for deposit in the fund, in an
37amount that exceeds one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000)
38before January 1, 2011. On and after January 1, 2011, the
39commission may collect an additional sum not to exceed two
40hundred fifteen million dollars ($215,000,000), for a sum total of
P4 1moneys collected by imposing the surcharge described in paragraph
2(1) not to exceed three hundred fifteen million dollars
3($315,000,000). The commission may collect the additional sum
4beginning with the calendar year starting on January 1, 2011, and
5continuing through the 2020 calendar year, in an amount not to
6exceed twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) per year, unless
7the commission determines that collecting a higher amount in any
8 year will not result in an increase in the total amount of all
9surcharges collected from telephone customers that year.
10(e) (1) All moneys in the California Advanced Services Fund
11shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the
12commission for the program administered by the commission
13pursuant to this section, including the costs incurred by the
14commission in developing, implementing, and administering the
15program and the fund.
16(2) Notwithstanding any other law and for the sole purpose of
17providing matching funds pursuant to the federal American
18Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), any
19entity eligible for funding pursuant to that act shall be eligible to
20apply to participate in the program administered by the commission
21pursuant to this section, if that entity otherwise satisfies the
22eligibility requirements under that program. Nothing in this section
23shall impede the ability of an incumbent local exchange carrier,
24as defined by subsection (h) of Section 251 of Title 47 of the
25United States Code, that is regulated under a rate of return
26regulatory structure, to recover, in rate base, California
27infrastructure investment not provided through federal or state
28grant funds for facilities that provide broadband service and
29California intrastate voice service.
30(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 270, an entity
31that is not a telephone corporation shall be eligible to apply to
32participate in the program administered by the commission pursuant
33to this section to provide access to broadband to an unserved or
34underserved household, as defined in commission Decision
3512-02-015, if the entity otherwise meets the eligibility requirements
36and complies with program requirements established by the
37commission. These requirements shall include all of the following:
38(A) That projects under this paragraph provide last-mile
39broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing
40facilities-based broadband provider and only receive funding to
P5 1provide broadband access to households that are unserved or
2underserved, as defined in commission Decision 12-02-015.
3(B) That funding for a project providing broadband access to
4an underserved household shall not be approved until after any
5existing facilities-based provider has an opportunity to demonstrate
6to the commission that it will, within a reasonable timeframe,
7upgrade existing service. An existing facilities-based provider
8may, but is not required to, apply for funding under this section to
9make that upgrade.
10(C) That the commission shall provide each applicant, and any
11party challenging an application, the opportunity to demonstrate
12actual levels of broadband service in the project area, which the
13commission shall consider in reviewing the application.
14(D) That a local governmental agency may be eligible for an
15infrastructure grant only if the infrastructure project is for an
16unserved household or business, the commission has conducted
17an open application process, and no other eligible entity applied.
18(E) That the commission shall establish a service list of
19interested parties to be notified of California Advanced Services
21(f) Moneys in the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband
22Consortia Grant Account shall be available for grants to eligible
23consortia to fund the cost of broadband deployment activities other
24than the capital cost of facilities, as specified by the commission.
25An eligible consortium may include, as specified by the
26commission, representatives of organizations, including, but not
27limited to, local and regional government, public safety, elementary
28and secondary education, health care, libraries, postsecondary
29education, community-based organizations, tourism, parks and
begin delete andend delete business, and
32is not required to have as its lead fiscal agent an entity with a
33certificate of public convenience and necessity.
34(g) Moneys in the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan
35Account shall be available to finance capital costs of broadband
36facilities not funded by a grant from the Broadband Infrastructure
37Grant Account. The commission shall periodically set interest rates
38on the loans based on surveys of existing financial markets.
39(h) (1) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms
40have the following meanings:
P6 1(A) “Publicly subsidized” means either that the housing
2development receives financial assistance from the United States
3Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to an
4annual contribution contract or is financed with low-income
5housing tax credits, tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds, general
6obligation bonds, or local, state, or federal loans or grants and the
7rents of the occupants, who are lower income households, do not
8exceed those prescribed by deed restrictions or regulatory
9agreements pursuant to the terms of the financing or financial
11(B) “Publicly supported community” means a
12subsidized multifamily housing development that is wholly owned
13by either of the following:
14(i) A public housing agency that has been chartered by the state,
15or by any city or county in the state, and has been determined to
16be an eligible public housing agency by the United States
17Department of Housing and Urban Development.
18(ii) An incorporated nonprofit organization as described in
19Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. Sec.
20501(c)(3)) that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) of
21that code (16 U.S.C. Sec. 501(a)), and that has received public
22funding to subsidize the construction or maintenance of housing
23occupied by residents whose annual income qualifies as “low” or
24“very low” income according to federal poverty guidelines.
25(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 270,
26the Broadband Public Housing Account shall be available for the
27commission to award grants and loans pursuant to this subdivision
28to an eligible publicly supported community if that entity otherwise
29meets eligibility requirements and complies with program
30requirements established by the commission.
31(3) Not more than twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) shall
32be available for grants and loans to a publicly supported community
33to finance a project to connect a broadband network to that publicly
34supported community. A publicly supported community may be
35an eligible applicant only if the publicly supported community can
36verify to the commission that the publicly supported community
37has not denied a right of access to any broadband provider that is
38willing to connect a broadband network to the facility for which
39the grant or loan is sought.
P7 1(4) (A) Not
more than five million dollars ($5,000,000) shall
2be available for grants and loans to a publicly supported community
3to support programs designed to increase adoption rates for
4broadband services for residents of that publicly supported
5community. A publicly supported community may be eligible for
6funding for a broadband adoption program only if the residential
7units in the facility to be served have access to broadband services
8or will have access to broadband services at the time the funding
9for adoption is implemented.
10(B) A publicly supported community may contract with other
11nonprofit or public agencies to assist in implementation of a
12broadband adoption program.
13(5) To the extent feasible, the commission shall approve projects
14for funding from the Broadband Public Housing Account in a
15manner that reflects the statewide distribution of publicly supported
17(6) In reviewing a project application under this subdivision,
18the commission shall consider the availability of other funding
19sources for that project, any financial contribution from the
20broadband service provider to the project, the availability of any
21other public or private broadband adoption or deployment program,
22including tax credits and other incentives, and whether the applicant
23has sought funding from, or participated in, any reasonably
24available program. The commission may require an applicant to
25provide match funding, and shall not deny funding for a project
26solely because the applicant is receiving funding from another
28(7) (A) To provide funding for the purposes of this subdivision,
29the commission shall transfer to the Broadband Public Housing
30Account twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) from the Broadband
31Infrastructure Grant Account and five million dollars ($5,000,000)
32from the Broadband Revolving Loan Account. Any moneys in the
33Broadband Public Housing Account that have not been awarded
34pursuant to this subdivision by December 31, 2016, shall be
35transferred back to the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account
36and Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account in
37proportion to the amount transferred from the respective accounts.
38(B) The commission shall transfer funds pursuant to
39subparagraph (A) only if the commission is otherwise authorized
P8 1to collect funds for purposes of this section in excess of the total
2amount authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d).
3(i) (1) The commission shall conduct two interim financial
4audits and a final financial audit and two interim performance
5audits and a final performance audit of the implementation and
6effectiveness of the California Advanced Services Fund to ensure
7that funds have been expended in accordance with the approved
8terms of the grant awards and loan agreements and this section.
9The commission shall report its interim findings to the Legislature
10by April 1, 2011, and April 1, 2017. The commission shall report
11its final findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2021. The reports
12shall also include an update to the maps in the final report of the
13California Broadband Task Force and data on the types and
14numbers of jobs created as a result of the program administered
15by the commission pursuant to this section.
16(2) (A) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under
17paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2022, pursuant to Section
1810231.5 of the Government Code.
19(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be
20submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government
22(j) (1) Beginning on January 1, 2012, and annually thereafter,
23the commission shall provide a report to the Legislature that
24includes all of the following information:
25(A) The amount of funds expended from the California
26Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
27(B) The recipients of funds expended from the California
28Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
29(C) The geographic regions of the state affected by funds
30expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior
32(D) The expected benefits to be derived from the funds expended
33from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
34(E) Actual broadband adoption levels from the funds expended
35from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
36(F) The amount of funds expended from the California
37Advanced Services Fund used to match federal funds.
38(G) An update on the expenditures from California Advanced
39Services Fund and broadband adoption levels, and an accounting
P9 1of remaining unserved and underserved households and areas of
3(H) The status of the California Advanced Services Fund balance
4and the projected amount to be collected in each year through 2020
5to fund approved projects.
6(2) (A) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under
7paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section
810231.5 of the Government Code.
9(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be
10submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government