BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 745 (Hueso) - Telecommunications:  universal service:   
          California Advanced Services Fund
          
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          |Version: January 4, 2016        |Policy Vote: E., U., & C. 9 - 0 |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: January 19, 2016  |Consultant: Marie Liu           |
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          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 745 would expand the types of consortium that are  
          specifically eligible for grants from the California Advanced  
          Services Fund (CASF) and would require the California Public  
          Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide additional information in  
          its annual report to the Legislature.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  Workload increases likely in the tens of thousands of  
          dollars from the CASF (special) for additional reporting  
          requirements.


          Background:  The CASF was established to encourage deployment of broadband  
          services to all Californians that will promote economic growth,  
          job creation, and substantial social benefits of advanced  
          information and communications technologies. It is funded by a  







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          surcharge rate on revenues collected by telecommunications  
          carriers from end-users of intrastate services. The CASF is  
          split into four accounts, one of which is the Rural and Urban  
          Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account, which funds grants  
          to eligible consortia to fund the cost of broadband deployment  
          activities other than the capital cost of facilities. Eligible  
          consortia are specified by the CPUC and may include, but are not  
          limited to, representatives from the following types of  
          organizations: 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.
          Existing law requires the CPUC to annually report to the  
          Legislature on the status of the CASF activities. Required  
          information includes the amount of funds expended, the  
          recipients of expended funds, the geographic regions affected by  
          funds expended, and the expected benefits from the expenditures.




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill would explicitly add representatives from workforce  
          organizations and air pollution control or air quality  
          management districts as eligible members of eligible consortium  
          for grants from the Rural and urban Regional Broadband Consortia  
          Grant Account.
          This bill would also expand the required information in the  
          CPUC's annual report to the Legislature on CASF activities to  
          provide details on efforts to leverage non-CASF funds. The  
          report would also be required to provide information regarding  
          impacts of expenditures on a county level in addition to a  
          regional level. 




          Staff  
          Comments:  The CPUC notes that there are currently 17 consortia,  
          most of which contain multiple counties. To report on  
          expenditures and impacts by county instead of region will take  
          coordination with the consortia to provide additional  
          information and data tracking. The CPUC estimates that this  
          additional work load would be approximately $90,000 annually for  








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          one PY. Staff believes that these costs are likely to be an  
          upper limit and should decrease with time once new data  
          collection processes are established.


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