[CalFiber] Notes from Mar 12 Friday call

Tracy Rosenberg tracy at media-alliance.org
Fri Mar 19 16:05:12 PDT 2021

Hi all,

With apologies for posting when I rarely attend meetings (the nerve) :)

I'm inclined to agree with Steve re: ministerial administration.

On the Caballero franchising bill: Some language was submitted to
Caballero's office today re: requiring HD transmission for PEG programming
in the context of SB 28. No word yet on whether they'll incorporate, but if
they do, this would be a good thing and support from this group would be
great. Among other issues, HD downgraded to SB renders closed captioning
unreadable which is a big deal for the hearing-impaired and even more so in
COVID times. And generally, public interest content should not be subject
to degraded delivery.

The last wording on SB 28l that I saw did specifically grant authority with
regard to a cableco's failure to deliver on broadband including
public hearings and investigations up to audits if the cableco accepts a
broadband grant from the commission. What it doesn't do is provide the same
level of oversight regarding the provision of cable services themselves.
But the universe of franchisees that offer one service and not the other,
or who would decline to participate in a broadband grant program of the
scale that is looking likely, may be fairly small,.

- Tracy

On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 5:04 PM Stephen Blum <steveblum at tellusventure.com>

> The problem with making the Department of Technology the grant making (or
> in any way a broadband development) agency is that IT people are consumers
> of broadband, not producers. It would be like putting bus drivers in charge
> of Caltrans. They'll get the resources they need, because that's what
> they're paid to do, but they have no experience in or mandate to provide
> services to the public. Last year's so called broadband plan is Exhibit A:
> they relied on cable and other lobbyists to write it for them. What we got
> was largely useless.
> Caltrans or DWR, despite their sins, would be a better choice. They build
> public facing infrastructure for a living. But I think the best way is to
> make it a purely financial resource, like other bonds, and let financial
> people run it ministerially for local policy makers.
> Steve Blum
> Tellus Venture Associates
> U.S. +1-831-582-0700
> N.Z. +64-21-116-0002
> steveblum at tellusventure.com
> On Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 4:23 PM Ernesto Falcon <ernesto at eff.org> wrote:
>> Side note, I wrote this piece summarizing the various broadband pieces
>> moving in Sacramento this year
>> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/03/sacramento-might-be-undergoing-broadband-policy-reboot
>>    1. Updates from Sacramento (AB 14/SB 4 discussion)
>> *The bills are coming closer together and CAC, Sen. Gonzalez, and the
>> Governor’s team will have to hash out the final edges of an agreement. Once
>> the two bills are essentially merged, support should be given to both
>> bills. *
>>    1. Updates from DC (House broadband infrastructure package), also
>>    related a bipartisan Senate endorsement of a 100/100 mbps standard for
>>    broadband (federal definition is 25/3) including Joe Manchin who is often
>>    seen as the hardest to pin down Senator on the Democratic side
>>    https://www.bennet.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=2C769043-69ED-426B-B30A-57981A4BA333).
>> *Legislation will be heading towards the larger infrastructure effort and
>> will overlap a lot with the work we’re doing here in Sacramento. Also the
>> federal standard will likely be updated this year by Biden’s new FCC Chair,
>> there is a lot of pushing for 100/100 low latency as the standard. *
>> * One thing to flag about the way the Democrats are going to approach
>> passing a massive infrastructure bill if they receive no GOP support is the
>> means to bypass the Senate filibuster prohibits policy, which means this
>> might become a giant pot of broadband money given to the Executive branch
>> who will decide the standards and goals of the program. *
>>    1. Updates on AB 34 (ballot initiative on broadband)
>> *This bill still hasn’t been made public but its basically looking like a
>> very good bill based on initial feedback. Essentially the state would take
>> on $8 billion in debt to finance a grant program that will favor open
>> access fiber. Would use the Department of Technology as the grant making
>> agency, which is concerning in that they have no experience in that space,
>> and likely was an ask from cable who want to avoid having the regulator in
>> charge of making these decisions. *
>>    1. Anything else?
>> *Caballero franchise bill – EFF will have a research memo published soon
>> talking about local franchise power for major cities and how it has
>> benefited New York City. The same will be true for LA, SF, Oakland and
>> other major CA cities. However, concerns were raised about the bargaining
>> power of rural townships is much more limited and they probably need the
>> state to retain authority over the franchising both from a resources and a
>> negotiating power perspective. Sean McLaughlin noted that the CPUC doesn’t
>> have clear authority to audit and regulate franchise holders who fail to
>> meet the requirements of the license to sell broadband in California. *
>> *Line Extension Program – CPUC has been doing some rethinking about it,
>> Ernesto suggested seeing if there is room to remake the program to assist
>> citizens connect to their own fiber. Chris Mitchell did a long interview on
>> this topic
>> (https://muninetworks.org/content/expanding-high-speed-internet-access-america-through-fiber-condominiums
>> <https://muninetworks.org/content/expanding-high-speed-internet-access-america-through-fiber-condominiums>).
>> If there are any changes to the program, it’ll come from the Governor’s
>> office into the SB 4 discussion.*
>> --
>> Ernesto Omar Falcon
>> Senior Legislative Counsel
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation
>> Office: 415 436 9333 ext. 182
>> Cell: 202 716 0770
>> _______________________________________________
>> CalFiber mailing list
>> CalFiber at lists.eff.org
>> https://lists.eff.org/mailman/listinfo/calfiber
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Tracy Rosenberg
Executive Director
Media Alliance
2830 20th Street Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94110
510-684-6853 Cell
Encrypted email at tracy.rosenberg at protonmail.com
Text via Signal

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