Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA [8000 - 22980]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT [11000 - 15986]

  ( Division 3 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 111. )

PART 1. STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES [11006 - 11144]

  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 111. )

CHAPTER 5.8. Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy [11549.50 - 11549.58]
  ( Chapter 5.8 added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. )

11549.50.
  

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Commission” means the Public Utilities Commission.

(b) “Department” means the Department of Technology.

(c) “Mbps” means megabit per second.

(d) “Office” means the Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy established pursuant to Section 11549.51.

(e) “Open access” means equal non-discriminatory access to eligible entities on a technology and competitively neutral basis, regardless of whether the entity is privately or publicly owned.

(f) “Statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network” means the broadband infrastructure that is funded pursuant to Item 7502-062-8506 of the Budget Act of 2021.

(g) “Third-party administrator” means the third-party administrator retained by the office pursuant to Section 11549.53.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.51.
  

There is in state government, within the department, the Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.52.
  

(a) The office shall, consistent with Item 7502-062-8506 of the Budget Act of 2021, oversee the acquisition and management of contracts for the development and construction of a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, and for the maintenance and operation of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network to provide an opportunity for last-mile providers, anchor institutions, and tribal entities to connect to, and interconnect with other networks and other appropriate connections to, the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network to facilitate high-speed broadband service.

(b) The office has the same authority granted to the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 6611 of the Public Contract Code for purposes of implementing this section.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.53.
  

(a) The office has the powers and authorities necessary to implement this chapter, including, but not limited to, the authority to enter into contracts with one or more entities to acquire goods and services and to take actions it deems necessary and appropriate for the development, acquisition, construction, maintenance, and operation of a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, including the creation of rural exchange points.

(b) (1) The office shall retain a third-party administrator to manage the development, acquisition, construction, maintenance, and operation of a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, including the creation of rural exchange points.

(2) The third-party administrator retained by the office shall be a California based nonprofit entity with demonstrated experience serving public libraries, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education with broadband connectivity.

(c) Contracts entered into by the office are exempt from Section 10295 of, and Article 4 (commencing with Section 10335) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of, the Public Contract Code.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.54.
  

(a) The commission, in collaboration with the third-party administrator, shall assist the office and provide to the office the locations for the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network in a commission staff report, and shall update the locations from time to time as the commission deems appropriate.

(b) The commission shall identify statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network locations that will enable last-mile service connections and are in communities where there is no known middle-mile infrastructure that is open access, with sufficient capacity, and at affordable rates.

(c) The commission shall identify priority statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network locations, including areas that can be built expeditiously, areas with no known middle-mile network access, regions underserved by middle-mile networks, and regions without sufficient capacity to meet future middle-mile needs.

(d) In identifying priority statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network locations pursuant to subdivision (c), the commission shall prioritize locations that enable last-mile connections to residences unserved by 25 mbps downstream and 3 mbps upstream. The locations prioritized by the commission may also include entities that lack sufficient high-bandwidth connections, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Elementary and secondary schools.

(2) Community colleges and other institutions of higher education.

(3) Government entities.

(4) Healthcare institutions.

(5) Libraries.

(6) Public safety answering points and technologies to assist in the prevention or response to natural disasters, including, but not limited to, fairgrounds.

(7) Tribal lands.

(e) The commission, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, shall identify state highway rights-of-way where installation of open-access middle-mile broadband infrastructure should be prioritized.

(1) In prioritizing state highway rights-of-way, the commission shall prioritize a geographically diverse group of projects in rural and urban areas of the state to achieve the greatest reductions in the amount of households unserved by broadband internet access service meeting federal and state standards.

(2) Upon identifying and prioritizing locations pursuant to this section, the commission shall transmit the list of priority projects to the Department of Transportation and publish the list on the commission’s internet website.

(f) (1) The commission shall solicit and receive public comments within 90 days of the effective date of this section with respect to both of the following:

(A) The current locations, routes, availability, technical performance characteristics, and other aspects of commercial sources of supply of middle-mile broadband network services.

(B) The locations, routes, technical performance characteristics, network design, regeneration points, interconnection points and tie-ins, and other design, technical, business, and operational considerations that would increase the attractiveness and usefulness of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network for commercial internet service providers.

(2) These public comments shall inform the locations for the statewide open-access middle-mile network provided to the office pursuant to subdivision (a).

(g) (1) The commission shall treat any confidential information obtained from the department pursuant to this section consistent with its processes and statutory requirements for maintaining confidential information otherwise received from communications service providers.

(2) The commission may share with the department any confidential information it receives from communications service providers that is related to the development and operation of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, and the department shall not disclose that information.

(h) The office shall plan and develop the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network using the information provided pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive.

(i) (1) In the planning and development of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, the office shall consider technical advice received from entities, including, but not limited to, wireless communications service providers, wireline communications service providers, state agencies, local governments, nonprofit entities, tribes, educational institutions, organized labor groups, regional consortia, and, if applicable, a working group convened pursuant to paragraph (2).

(2) The office may convene a working group to provide additional advice pursuant to this subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.55.
  

(a) (1) The construction of a statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network under design-build authority is exempt from the design-build procurement authorization limit of subdivision (a) of Section 6821 of the Public Contract Code.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 6829 of the Public Contract Code, the design-build procurement authorization under Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 6820) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code shall remain in effect for purposes of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network after January 1, 2024, until the completion of the broadband network.

(b) (1) The office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, may use the Construction Manager/General Contractor method under Chapter 6.3 (commencing with Section 6700) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code for the construction of the broadband network.

(2) The dollar value limitation on the Construction Manager/General Contractor method as specified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 6701 of the Public Contract Code does not apply to the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(c) The office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, may use job order contracting to construct the broadband network as follows:

(1) The office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, shall establish a procedure to prequalify job order contractors and shall prepare a set of documents for each job order contract.

(2) The documents prepared pursuant to paragraph (1) shall include a unit price book of construction tasks with preestablished unit prices, job order contract specifications, and any other information deemed necessary to describe adequately the office’s or the entity’s needs.

(3) Based on the documents prepared pursuant to paragraph (1), the office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, shall prepare a request for bids that invites prequalified job order contractors to submit competitive sealed bids in the manner prescribed by the office or the entity.

(4) Job order contracts may be executed for an initial contract term of no more than 12 months, with the option of extending or renewing the job order contract for two 12-month periods. All extensions or renewals shall be priced as provided in the request for bids. The extension or renewal shall be mutually agreed to by the office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, and the job order contractor.

(5) Any job order contractor that is selected to construct a project pursuant to this subdivision shall possess or obtain sufficient bonding to cover the contract amount for construction services and risk and liability insurance as the office, or an entity, including the Department of Transportation, assigned by the office to construct the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, or a portion of the broadband network, may require.

(d) This section is not intended to affect, expand, alter, or limit any rights or remedies otherwise available at law.

(e) Any construction of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network performed by the Department of Transportation and any moneys received as reimbursement for the work are not transportation funds subject to Sections 182 and 183 of the Streets and Highways Code.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.56.
  

(a) All state agencies shall work in cooperation to expedite the delivery and permitting of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(b) The office shall consider adopting rules to encourage or require internet services providers that use the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network to participate in the lifeline program pursuant to the Moore Universal Telephone Service Act (Article 8 (commencing with Section 871) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code) and the federal lifeline program.

(c) The Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2) does not apply to regulations related to the operation of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network adopted by the office or a state agency assigned by the office to operate the broadband network.

(d) The Legislature finds and declares that the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network serves a public purpose. Notwithstanding Section 104.12 of the Streets and Highways Code and any other applicable law, any lease of public property for purposes of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network may be made for less than fair market value.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.57.
  

(a) In the operation of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network, the office may establish reasonable user policies, perform reasonable network management practices, and create related standards and policies.

(b) The office shall ensure that there are a variety of services offered to internet service providers or other eligible entities on the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(c) Where feasible, the office shall consider if the term of access to dark fiber shall be no less than a 20-year indefeasible right to use.

(d) Where feasible, the office shall consider including excess conduit capacity in projects to ensure for potential growth of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(e) This section does not prohibit the office from making a grant of dark fiber strands for purposes of enhancing the California Research and Education Network.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

11549.58.
  

(a) The department shall provide oversight and policy input for the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(b) (1) Within the department shall be a Deputy Director for Broadband, who shall be appointed by, and hold office at the pleasure of, the Governor.

(2) The Deputy Director for Broadband shall be the primary point of contact for the third-party administrator, the commission, the Department of Transportation, and the Legislature.

(c) (1) The department shall establish a broadband advisory committee to monitor the construction and establishment of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(2) The broadband advisory committee shall comprise all of the following members:

(A) A representative of the commission.

(B) A representative of the department.

(C) A representative of the Department of Transportation.

(D) A representative of the Department of Finance.

(E) A representative of the Government Operations Agency.

(F) Two ex officio members, who shall be members of the Assembly and be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. These ex officio members shall serve at the pleasure of the Speaker of the Assembly.

(G) Two ex officio members, who shall be members of the Senate and be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules. These ex officio members shall serve at the pleasure of the Senate Committee on Rules.

(3) The representative of the department shall chair the broadband advisory committee.

(d) The broadband advisory committee shall meet no less often than monthly for the first 12 months following the effective date of this section, and shall meet quarterly thereafter.

(e) The third-party administrator shall seek policy advice from the broadband advisory committee.

(f) (1) On or before March 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, the office, in consultation with the department and the Department of Finance, shall report to both budget committees of the Legislature all of the following:

(A) The total length of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(B) The length of the portion of the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network constructed in the preceding year, by quarter.

(C) The number of internet service providers using the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(D) The number of households projected to connect to the statewide open-access middle-mile broadband network.

(E) The total expenditures for each project, by quarter.

(F) The projected goals for each of the metrics described in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, for the 18 months following the report.

(2)  A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.

(Added by Stats. 2021, Ch. 112, Sec. 3. (SB 156) Effective July 20, 2021.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV