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California Broadband Politics Concerning Building Conduits in State Rights-of-Way

in Broadband News/Fiber/Infrastructure/National Broadband Plan by

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: By taking this action, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has likely avoided the fate of a bill that would require the agency to add conduit to infrastructure projects. See Steve Blum’s perspective below, and on the link. ||

Caltrans buries dig once conduit bill, from Tellus Venture Associates:

Under a veto threat from governor Brown, a bill that would have required Caltrans to cooperate with, and even participate in, broadband infrastructure development has been trimmed back to the point where it’s largely symbolic. Not completely: as currently drafted, assembly bill 1549 would still require Caltrans to allow all interested parties – independent Internet service providers and local governments included – to add conduit to state highway construction projects…

    For the purpose of supporting fiber optic communication cables, after receiving notification from the department, a company or organization working on broadband deployment may collaborate with the department to install a broadband conduit as part of the project.

“Organization” specifically includes “local governments and nonprofit organizations” as well as telephone and cable companies. Independent ISPs aren’t particularly called out, but it would be hard to argue that they too aren’t companies “working on broadband deployment”. Not impossible, though. Conduit access rules in California largely turn on whether or not an ISP has been certified by the California Public Utilities Commission as a telephone company. It’s a bureaucratic distinction that Caltrans might be inclined to embrace.

[more…]

Source: Caltrans buries dig once conduit bill

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