Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Amended legislation would put CPUC in charge of broadband stimulus funding

As the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday, California -- embarrassed by its extensive patchwork of broadband black holes in a state that prides itself as an information technology leader and the home of Silicon Valley -- is angling for $1 billion of the $7.2 billion in broadband infrastructure subsidies in the federal economic stimulus package.

Undecided however is which California entity would be in charge of doling out the money -- assuming the two federal agencies administering the funds ultimately decide by next month to channel it through the states rather than accepting funding applications directly.

Would it be Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief information officer as the governor initially suggested? The California Public Utilities Commission? Or the California Emerging Technologies Fund, a nonprofit to increase broadband deployment and adoption formed and funded as a condition of recent telco M&A activity?

Legislation pending in the California Assembly was amended May 5 reflecting the recommendation of the state Legislative Analyst that the CPUC be in charge of the stimulus funding. You can link to the measure, AB 1012, here.

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