Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1262 Telecommunications: universal service: California Advanced Services Fund.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.

 Section 281 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

281.
 (a) The commission shall develop, implement, and administer the California Advanced Services Fund 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, consistent with this section and with the statements of intent in Section 2 of the Internet For All Now Act (Assembly Bill 1665 of the 2017–18 Regular Session). section. 
(b) (1) (A)  The goal of the program is, no later than December 31, 2022, 2015,  to approve funding for infrastructure projects that will provide broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California households in each consortia region, as identified by the commission on or before January 1, 2017. The commission shall be responsible for achieving the goals of the program. households. 
(B) For purposes of this section, “unserved household” means a household for which no facility-based broadband provider offers broadband service at speeds of at least 6 megabits per second (mbps) downstream and one mbps upstream.
(2) In approving infrastructure projects, the commission shall do both of the following:
(A) (2)  Approve  In approving infrastructure projects, the commission shall give priority to  projects that provide last-mile broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing facility-based broadband provider, and, upon accomplishment of the goal of the program specified in paragraph (1), also approve projects pursuant to paragraph (15) of subdivision (f). facilities-based broadband provider. The commission shall provide each applicant, and any party challenging an application, the opportunity to demonstrate actual levels of broadband service in the project area, which the commission shall consider in reviewing the application. 
(B) (i) Give preference to projects in areas where Internet connectivity is available only through dial-up service that are not served by any form of wireline or wireless facility-based broadband service or areas with no Internet connectivity.
(ii) This subparagraph does not prohibit the commission from approving funding for projects outside of the areas specified in clause (i).
(c) The commission shall establish the following accounts within the fund:
(1) The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
(2) The Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account.
(3) The Broadband Public Housing  Infrastructure Revolving Loan  Account.
(4) The Broadband Adoption  Public Housing  Account.
(d) (1) The commission shall transfer the moneys received All moneys collected by the surcharge authorized  by the commission from the surcharge imposed to fund the accounts to the  pursuant to Decision 07-12-054 shall be transmitted to the commission pursuant to a schedule established by the commission. The commission shall transfer the moneys received to the  Controller for deposit in the California Advanced Services Fund. Moneys collected on and after January 1, 2011,  shall be deposited in the following amounts in the following accounts:
(A) Three One  hundred ninety  million dollars ($300,000,000) ($190,000,000)  into the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
(B) Ten Fifteen  million dollars ($10,000,000) ($15,000,000)  into the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account.
(C) Twenty Ten  million dollars ($20,000,000) ($10,000,000)  into the Broadband Adoption  Infrastructure Revolving Loan  Account.
(2) All interest earned on moneys in the fund shall be deposited in the fund.
(3) The commission may collect a  shall not collect moneys, by imposing the surcharge described in paragraph (1) for deposit in the fund, in an amount that exceeds one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) before January 1, 2011. On and after January 1, 2011, the commission may collect an additional  sum not to exceed three two  hundred thirty fifteen  million dollars ($330,000,000) ($215,000,000),  for a sum total of moneys collected by imposing the surcharge described in paragraph (1).  (1) not to exceed three hundred fifteen million dollars ($315,000,000).  The commission may collect the additional  sum beginning with the calendar year starting on January 1, 2018, 2011,  and continuing through the 2022 2020  calendar year, in an amount not to exceed sixty-six twenty-five  million dollars ($66,000,000) ($25,000,000)  per year, unless the commission determines that collecting a higher amount in any year will not result in an increase in the total amount of all surcharges collected from telephone customers that year.
(e) (1)  All moneys in the California Advanced Services Fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the commission for the program administered by the commission pursuant to this section, including the costs incurred by the commission in developing, implementing, and administering the program and the fund.
(f) (1) The commission shall award grants from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account on a technology-neutral basis, including both wireline and wireless technology.
(2) The commission shall consult with regional consortia, stakeholders, local governments, existing facility-based broadband providers, and consumers regarding unserved areas and cost-effective strategies to achieve the broadband access goal through public workshops conducted at least annually no later than April 30 of each year through year 2022.
(3) The commission shall identify unserved rural and urban areas and delineate the areas in the annual report prepared pursuant to Section 914.7.
(4) (A) (i) The commission shall annually offer an existing facility-based broadband provider the opportunity to demonstrate that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing facilities to a delineated unserved area within 180 days.
(ii) Except as provided in clause (iii), the commission shall not approve funding for a project to deploy broadband to a delineated unserved area if the existing facility-based broadband provider demonstrates to the commission, in response to the commission’s annual offer, that it will deploy broadband or upgrade existing broadband service throughout the project area.
(iii) If the existing facility-based broadband provider is unable to complete the deployment of broadband within the delineated unserved area within 180 days, the provider shall provide the commission with information to demonstrate what progress has been made or challenges faced in completing the deployment. If the commission finds that the provider is making progress towards the completion of the deployment, the commission shall extend the time to complete the project beyond the 180 days. If the commission finds that the provider is not making progress towards completing the deployment, the delineated unserved area shall be eligible for funding pursuant to this subdivision.
(B) (i) Except for information specified in clause (ii), information submitted to the commission that includes the provider’s plans for future broadband deployment shall not be publicly disclosed.
(ii) The commission may publicly disclose information regarding the area designated for a broadband deployment, the number of households or locations to be served, and the estimated date by which the deployment will be completed.
(C) An existing facility-based broadband provider may, but is not required to, apply for funding from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account to make an upgrade pursuant to this subdivision.
(5) Projects eligible for grant awards shall meet all of the following requirements:
(A) The project deploys infrastructure capable of providing broadband access at speeds of a minimum of 10 megabits per second (mbps) downstream and one mbps upstream to unserved households in census blocks where no provider offers access at speeds of at least 6 mbps downstream and one mbps upstream.
(B) All or a significant portion of the project deploys last-mile infrastructure to provide service to unserved households. Projects that only deploy middle-mile infrastructure are not eligible for grant funding. For a project that includes funding for middle-mile infrastructure, the commission shall verify that the proposed middle-mile infrastructure is indispensable for accessing the last-mile infrastructure.
(C) (i) Except as provided in clause (ii), until July 1, 2020, the project is not located in a census block where an existing facility-based broadband provider has accepted federal funds for broadband deployment from Phase II of the Connect America Fund, unless the existing facility-based broadband provider has notified the commission before July 1, 2020, that it has completed its Connect America Fund deployment in the census block.
(ii) An existing facility-based broadband provider is eligible for a grant pursuant to this subdivision to supplement a grant pursuant to Phase II of the Connect America Fund to expand broadband service within identified census blocks, as needed.
(6) (A) An individual household or property owner shall be eligible to apply for a grant to offset the costs of connecting the household or property to an existing or proposed facility-based broadband provider. Any infrastructure built to connect a household or property with funds provided under this paragraph shall become the property of, and part of, the network of the facility-based broadband provider to which it is connected.
(B) (2)  (i) Notwithstanding  In approving a project pursuant to this paragraph, the commission shall consider limiting funding to households based on income so that funds are provided only to households that would not otherwise be able to afford a line extension to the property, limiting the amount of grants on a per-household basis, and requiring a percentage of the project to be paid by the household or the owner of the property.  any other law and for the sole purpose of providing matching funds pursuant to the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), any entity eligible for funding pursuant to that act shall be eligible to apply to participate in the program administered by the commission pursuant to this section, if that entity otherwise satisfies the eligibility requirements under that program. Nothing in this section shall impede the ability of an incumbent local exchange carrier, as defined by subsection (h) of Section 251 of Title 47 of the United States Code, that is regulated under a rate of return regulatory structure, to recover, in rate base, California infrastructure investment not provided through federal or state grant funds for facilities that provide broadband service and California intrastate voice service. 
(ii) The aggregate amount of grants awarded pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed five million dollars ($5,000,000).
(7) (3)  An  Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 270, an  entity that is not a telephone corporation shall be eligible to apply to participate in the program administered by the commission pursuant to this section to provide access to broadband to an unserved household,  or underserved household, as defined in commission Decision 12-02-015,  if the entity otherwise meets the eligibility requirements and complies with program requirements established by the commission. These requirements shall include all of the following: 
(A) That projects under this paragraph provide last-mile broadband access to households that are unserved by an existing facilities-based broadband provider and only receive funding to provide broadband access to households that are unserved or underserved, as defined in commission Decision 12-02-015.
(B) That funding for a project providing broadband access to an underserved household shall not be approved until after any existing facilities-based provider has an opportunity to demonstrate to the commission that it will, within a reasonable timeframe, upgrade existing service. An existing facilities-based provider may, but is not required to, apply for funding under this section to make that upgrade.
(8) (C)  The  That the  commission shall provide each applicant, and any party challenging an application, the opportunity to demonstrate actual levels of broadband service in the project area, which the commission shall consider in reviewing the application.
(9) (D)  A  That a  local governmental agency may be eligible for an infrastructure grant only if the infrastructure project is for an unserved household or business, the commission has conducted an open application process, and no other eligible entity applied.
(10) (E)  The  That the  commission shall establish a service list of interested parties to be notified of any  California Advanced Services Fund applications. Any application and any amendment to an application for project funding shall be served to those on the service list and posted on the commission’s Internet Web site at least 30 days before publishing the corresponding draft resolution. 
(11) A grant awarded pursuant to this subdivision may include funding for the following costs consistent with paragraph (5) of subdivision (f):
(A) Costs directly related to the deployment of infrastructure.
(B) Costs to lease access to property or for Internet backhaul services for a period not to exceed five years.
(C) Cost incurred by an existing facility-based broadband provider to upgrade its existing facilities to provide for interconnection.
(12) A grant from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account shall not include funding for costs of broadband infrastructure already funded by the Connect America Fund program or other similar federal public program that funds that infrastructure. This paragraph does not apply to funding from the federal high-cost support programs that support operations, including High Cost Loop Support (HCLS), Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS), or the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM).
(13) The commission may award grants to fund all or a portion of the project. The commission shall determine, on a case-by-case basis, the level of funding to be provided for a project and shall consider factors that include, but are not limited to, the location and accessibility of the area, the existence of communication facilities that may be upgraded to deploy broadband, and whether the project makes a significant contribution to achievement of the program goal.
(14) The commission may require each infrastructure grant applicant to indicate steps taken to first obtain any available funding from the Connect America Fund program or similar federal public programs that fund broadband infrastructure. This paragraph does not authorize the commission to reject a grant application on the basis that an applicant failed to seek project funding from the Connect America Fund program or another similar federal public program.
(15) Upon the accomplishment of the goal of the program specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), not more than thirty million dollars ($30,000,000) of the moneys remaining in the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account shall be available for infrastructure projects that provide last-mile broadband access to households to which no facility-based broadband provider offers broadband service at speeds of at least 10 mbps downstream and one mbps upstream.
(g) (f)  (1)  Moneys in the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account shall be available for grants to eligible consortia to facilitate deployment of broadband services by assisting infrastructure applicants in the project development or grant application process.  fund the cost of broadband deployment activities other than the capital cost of facilities, as specified by the commission.  An eligible consortium may include, as specified by the commission, representatives of organizations, including, but not limited to, local and regional government, public safety, elementary and secondary education, health care, libraries, postsecondary education, community-based organizations, tourism, parks and recreation, agricultural, business, workforce organizations, and air pollution control or air quality management districts,  and business,  and is not required to have as its lead fiscal agent an entity with a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
(2) Each consortium shall conduct an annual audit of its expenditures for programs funded pursuant to this subdivision and shall submit to the commission an annual report that includes both of the following:
(A) A description of activities completed during the prior year, how each activity promotes the deployment of broadband services, and the cost associated with each activity.
(B) The number of project applications assisted.
(h) (g)  (1) Moneys  All remaining moneys    in the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account that are unencumbered as of January 1, 2018, shall be transferred to  shall be available to finance capital costs of broadband facilities not funded by a grant from  the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account. The commission shall periodically set interest rates on the loans based on surveys of existing financial markets. 
(2) All repayments of loans funded by the former Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account shall be deposited into the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
(i) (h)  (1) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings:
(A) “Publicly subsidized” means either that the housing development receives financial assistance from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to an annual contribution contract or is financed with low-income housing tax credits, tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds, general obligation bonds, or local, state, or federal loans or grants and the rents of the occupants, who are lower income households, do not exceed those prescribed by deed restrictions or regulatory agreements pursuant to the terms of the financing or financial assistance.
(B) “Publicly supported community” means a publicly subsidized multifamily housing development that is wholly owned by either of the following:
(i) A public housing agency that has been chartered by the state, or by any city or county in the state, and has been determined to be an eligible public housing agency by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(ii) An incorporated nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3)) that is exempt from taxation under Section 501(a) of that code (26 (16  U.S.C. Sec. 501(a)), and that has received public funding to subsidize the construction or maintenance of housing occupied by residents whose annual income qualifies as “low” or “very low” income according to federal poverty guidelines.
(2) Moneys  Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 270, moneys  in the Broadband Public Housing Account shall be available for the commission to award grants and loans pursuant to this subdivision to an eligible publicly supported community if that entity otherwise meets eligibility requirements and complies with program requirements established by the commission.
(3) (A)  Not more than twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) of the moneys deposited into the Broadband Public Housing Account on or before January 1, 2018,  shall be available for grants and loans to a publicly supported community to finance a project to connect a broadband network to that publicly supported community. A publicly supported community may be an eligible applicant only if the publicly supported community can verify to the commission that the publicly supported community has not denied a right of access to any broadband provider that is willing to connect a broadband network to the facility for which the grant or loan is sought and the publicly supported community is unserved. sought. 
(B) (i) In its review of applications received pursuant to subparagraph (A), the commission shall award grants only to unserved housing developments, regardless of when the applicant filed its application.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, a housing development is unserved when at least one housing unit within the housing development is not offered broadband Internet service.
(C) Only after all funds available pursuant to this paragraph in the Broadband Public Housing Account have been awarded may a publicly supported community otherwise eligible to submit an application for funding from the Broadband Public Housing Account submit an application for funding for these purposes from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account.
(4) (A) Not more than five million dollars ($5,000,000) of the moneys deposited into the Broadband Public Housing Account on or before January 1, 2018,  shall be available for grants and loans to a publicly supported community to support programs designed to increase adoption rates for broadband services for residents of that publicly supported community. A publicly supported community may be eligible for funding for a broadband adoption program only if the residential units in the facility to be served have access to broadband services or will have access to broadband services at the time the funding for adoption is implemented.
(B) A publicly supported community may contract with other nonprofit or public agencies to assist in implementation of a broadband adoption program.
(C) Only after all funds available pursuant to this paragraph in the Broadband Public Housing Account have been awarded may a publicly supported community otherwise eligible to submit an application for funding from the Broadband Public Housing Account submit an application for funding for these purposes from the Broadband Adoption Grant Account pursuant to subdivision (j).
(5) To the extent feasible, the commission shall approve projects for funding from the Broadband Public Housing Account in a manner that reflects the statewide distribution of publicly supported communities.
(6) In reviewing a project application under this subdivision, the commission shall consider the availability of other funding sources for that project, any financial contribution from the broadband service provider to the project, the availability of any other public or private broadband adoption or deployment program, including tax credits and other incentives, and whether the applicant has sought funding from, or participated in, any reasonably available program. The commission may require an applicant to provide match funding, and shall not deny funding for a project solely because the applicant is receiving funding from another source.
(7) (A)  To provide funding for the purposes of this subdivision, the commission shall transfer to the Broadband Public Housing Account twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) from the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account and five million dollars ($5,000,000) from the Broadband Revolving Loan Account.  Any moneys in the Broadband Public Housing Account that have not been awarded pursuant to this subdivision by December 31, 2020, 2016,  shall be transferred back to the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account. Account and Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account in proportion to the amount transferred from the respective accounts. 
(B) The commission shall transfer funds pursuant to subparagraph (A) only if the commission is otherwise authorized to collect funds for purposes of this section in excess of the total amount authorized pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d).
(j) (i)  (1) Moneys in the Broadband Adoption Account shall be available to the commission to award grants to increase publicly available or after-school broadband access and digital inclusion, such as grants for digital literacy training programs and public education to communities with limited broadband adoption, including low-income communities, senior communities, and communities facing socioeconomic barriers to broadband adoption. The commission shall conduct two interim financial audits and a final financial audit and two interim performance audits and a final performance audit of the implementation and effectiveness of the California Advanced Services Fund to ensure that funds have been expended in accordance with the approved terms of the grant awards and loan agreements and this section. The commission shall report its interim findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2011, and April 1, 2017. The commission shall report its final findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2021. The reports shall also include an update to the maps in the final report of the California Broadband Task Force and data on the types and numbers of jobs created as a result of the program administered by the commission pursuant to this section. 
(2) Eligible (A)   applicants are local governments, senior centers, schools, public libraries, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations with programs to increase publicly available or after-school broadband access and digital inclusion, such as digital literacy training programs. The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2022, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code. 
(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(3) (j)  Payment (1)   pursuant to a grant for digital inclusion shall be based on digital inclusion metrics established by the commission that may include the number of residents trained, the number of residents served, or the actual verification of broadband subscriptions resulting from the program funded by the grant. Beginning on January 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, the commission shall provide a report to the Legislature that includes all of the following information: 
(A) The amount of funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
(B) The recipients of funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
(4) (C)  The commission shall, in a new or existing proceeding, develop, by June 30, 2018, criteria for awarding grants and a process and methodology for verifying outcomes. The commission shall be prepared to accept applications for grants from the Broadband Adoption Account no later than July 1, 2018. geographic regions of the state affected by funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year. 
(5) (D)  The commission shall give preference to programs in communities with demonstrated low broadband access, including low-income communities, senior communities, and communities facing socioeconomic barriers to broadband adoption. In the proceeding specified in paragraph (4), the commission shall determine how best to prioritize projects for funding pursuant to this paragraph. expected benefits to be derived from the funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year. 
(E) Actual broadband adoption levels from the funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund in the prior year.
(F) The amount of funds expended from the California Advanced Services Fund used to match federal funds.
(6) (G)  Moneys awarded pursuant to this subdivision shall not be used to subsidize the costs of providing broadband service to households. An update on the expenditures from California Advanced Services Fund and broadband adoption levels, and an accounting of remaining unserved and underserved households and areas of the state. 
(k) (H)  The commission shall post on the homepage  status  of the California Advanced Service Fund on its Internet Web site a list of all pending applications, application challenge deadlines, and notices of amendments to pending applications. Services Fund balance and the projected amount to be collected in each year through 2020 to fund approved projects. 
(l) (2)  (A)  The commission shall notify the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature on the date on which the goal specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) is achieved. requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code. 
(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
SEC. 2.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
The immediate continuation of assistance with broadband deployment is a primary purpose of the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account. In order to ensure funding for regular broadband consortia activities, adequate funding must be made available. The Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account has been exhausted and unless moneys are made available immediately, deployment activities could cease.