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Comments to Consider Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund

BEFORE THE
CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider
Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund.
Rulemaking No. 12-10-012 (Filed October 25, 2012)

 

OPENING COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. (U-7326-C) DBA

GEOLINKS ON PROPOSED DECISION OF COMMISSIONER GUZMAN ACEVES

IMPLEMENTING THE CALIFORNIA ADVANCED SERVICES FUND

INFRASTRUCTURE ACCOUNT REVISED RULES

November 29, 2018 

Pursuant to Rule 14.3 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, California Internet, L.P. (U-7326-C) dba GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) respectfully submits these comments on the on the Proposed Decision of Commissioner Guzman Aceves, entitled “Decision Implementing the California Advanced Services Fund Infrastructure Account Revised Rules” (“Phase II PD”), released on November 9, 2018.

GeoLinks limits these comments to one section of the Phase II PD regarding the Ministerial Review process (Section 2.3). In the Phase II PD, while the Commission acknowledges GeoLinks’ concerns regarding the lack of technology neutrality present in the proposed ministerial review process with respect to the maximum price per household for fiber projects vs. fixed wireless projects, the Commission fails to actually make the process technology neutral. Specifically, while the Phase II PD does lower the maximum amount per household eligible for ministerial review for fiber projects (from $8,000 to $6,000 per household), the number is still inextricably several thousand dollars more than the threshold for fixed wireless projects ($1,500 per household).

The Phase II PD fails to provide any rationale for the thresholds proposed or even attempt to explain why the proposed fiber threshold is $4,500 per household higher than the proposed fixed wireless threshold. GeoLinks assumes these numbers are based on averages taken from previously-approved CASF projects, but this is not clear. For example, while the CASF Annual Report for 2016 explains that the average of 15 CASF fiber projects is $9,442, inclusive of middle mile costs, the Phase II PD does not address this average in any way, explain how the new $6000 may or may not be related to it. The Phase II PD is completely silent as to how the proposed thresholds were conceived, what they may or may not be based on, or why they can’t be the same for both technology types.

Moreover, while the Phase II PD does note that the ministerial thresholds do not preclude fixed wireless projects from being awarded grants that fall outside the ministerial cost criteria, it makes very clear that these projects (even if still significantly less per household than proposed fiber projects that may offer the same speed to the same areas) must go through the Commission’s Resolution process (which is presumably longer and requires a Commission decision). GeoLinks asserts that 1) creating separate thresholds for separate technologies that offer the same service, 2) requiring one technology to endure a procedural process that another would not for what might otherwise be an identical proposed project, 3) and failing to provide any explanation for why the cost threshold or the path to approval is different for one technology over another are examples of bad public policy. In all, the Commission’s retention of differing thresholds for fiber projects vs. fixed wireless projects in direct opposition to the Commission’s goal of administering the CASF program on a “technology neutral” basis and should be rejected.

GeoLinks urges the Commission to create one ministerial threshold for all technology type. Specifically, GeoLinks suggests $4000 to create some balance between the currently inequity of $6000 (fiber) vs. $1500 (fixed wireless).

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Melissa Slawson
Melissa Slawson
General Counsel, V.P. of Government Affairs and Education
California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks
251 Camarillo Ranch Rd
Camarillo, CA 93012

November 29, 2018

[1] California Advanced Services Fund: A Program to Bridge the Digital Divide in California, Annual Report January 2016 – December 2016 (issued April 2017) at page 43, FN 51.
[1] Interim Opinion Implementing California Advanced Services Fund, Decision 07-12-054 (rel. December 20, 2007), at 8: “The CASF shall be administered on a technology neutral basis by the Commission.”  See also Id. At 28: “CASF funding proposals will be reviewed based upon how well they meet the criteria for selection as set forth below, and, where applicable, compared with any competing claims to match the deployment offer under superior terms. Such criteria should be evaluated on a competitively neutral basis.” (Emphasis added).
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Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund

 

August 8, 2018

BEFORE THE

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund

 Rulemaking No. 12-10-012  (Filed October 25, 2012)

 

COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. (U-7326-C) DBA GEOLINKS ON ASSIGNED COMMISSIONER RULING ON ELIGIBILITY FOR AND PRIORITIZATION OF CASF BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDS

 

California Internet, L.P. (U-7326-C) dba GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) respectfully submits these comments on the Assigned Commissioner Ruling Setting Workshops and Seeking Comment on Eligibility for and Prioritization of Broadband Infrastructure Funds from the California Advanced Services Fund (“ACR”), issued July 11, 2018.  Pursuant to the email ruling from July 26, 2018 by Administrative Law Judge Anthony Colbert extending the response date for the ACR to August 8, 2018, these comments are timely filed.

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

Headquartered in Camarillo, CA, GeoLinks is nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions.  The Company’s proprietary ClearFiber™ product utilizes a combination of terrestrial fiber optic backhaul, carrier-grade full-duplex fixed wireless equipment, and FCC licensed spectrum to deliver ultra-reliable high-speed broadband Internet access via radio waves.[1]

GeoLinks is proud to service the largest coverage area of any single fixed wireless Internet service provider in the state the California.  As a competitive broadband provider, GeoLinks is constantly seeking opportunities to expand its ever-growing fixed wireless broadband network to reach areas that are unserved by incumbent broadband providers or lack access to fiber connections.  The Company hopes to leverage its expertise in connecting unserved areas of the state to apply for California Advanced Services Fund (“CASF”) funding in the coming year.

 

  1. DISCUSSION
    1. Eligibility and Challenge Process

Question 1.a.: 

Currently, ineligible census blocks are largely determined by a service provider’s claim(s) of serving households within such census blocks and information indicating subscriptions within these census blocks. However, not all households within such census blocks may have broadband internet access service (broadband service) available to them. Given the potential overstatement of ubiquitous availability within census blocks, should a census block only be CASF-eligible if the subscription rate within that census block is less than 40% of all households? We propose that a census block is considered served, if a majority of households in that block subscribe to wireline or fixed wireless Internet service. 

What should the CASF challenge process look like? Which trigger(s) should be used to start the challenge process for a CASF application? Which trigger(s) should be used to end the challenge process for a CASF application? Should the Commission create a single definitive list of CASF-eligible census blocks and a pre-application eligibility-map challenge process, as AT&T proposes? (See Opening Comments of AT&T on Phase II Staff Proposal, filed April 16, 2018, pp. 9-11).

Regarding the measurement of broadband availability, GeoLinks agrees with the assessment that under the current reporting process overstatement of availability is a possibility.  While some providers may truly offer service to every household within a census block, others may offer service to only a small subsect thereof (i.e. one household or one street).  In both cases, the whole census block would be deemed “served” for the purposes of CASF grant availability and broadband availability mapping.[2]  GeoLinks sees no value in the current “all or nothing” availability determination process and supports the suggestion set forth in the ACR that a census block should only be deemed “served” if availability within that census block meets some minimum percentage.

Specifically, the ACR suggests a 51% subscription threshold, which was modified to 40% in the July 25th workshop, to measure whether a census block is eligible for CASF funding.  As an initial matter GeoLinks cautions the Commission against conflating “subscription” with “availability.”  Subscription is not an exact measure for broadband availability as there are more factors than just “where infrastructure is” that dictate whether a consumer chooses to subscribe to the services offered.  That said, GeoLinks does not oppose the 40% proposal and believes that use of a subscription rate may be useful in incentivize existing service providers to improve their service offerings if they sense a threat of subsidized competition.  Specifically, it may encourage them to either increase broadband availability within the census block or ramp up broadband adoption efforts to increase subscribership.  In either event, GeoLinks believes that this will help the Commission towards its goal of ubiquitous broadband access.

Should the Commission adopt a benchmark subscription rate by which to determine whether or not a census block is eligible for CASF funding, GeoLinks urges the Commission to add this information to the California Broadband Map as a separate layer.  This will allow service providers interested in CASF funding to assess all census blocks available for funding.

Regarding the challenge process, GeoLinks does not oppose the 21-day challenge process proposed in the Phase II Staff Proposal (“Staff Proposal”) set forth in the Amended Scoping Memo and Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling (“Scoping Ruling”), issued February 14, 2018, which would be triggered upon the filing of an application.  The ACR also specifically asks about AT&T’s proposal, as set forth in its Opening Comments on the Staff Proposal.  While GeoLinks does not oppose some of AT&T’s suggestions, on the whole, GeoLinks does not believe AT&T’s proposal is in the best interests of the CASF program.

AT&T proposes that the Commission create “a definitive list of all CASF-eligible census blocks each year before applications are submitted.”[3]  While GeoLinks sees value in having a definitive list of eligible census blocks, the Company does not support the concept that this list will only be updated annually.  As GeoLinks advocated in its opening comments on the Scoping Ruling, there should be more than one CASF application period per year.  Specifically, GeoLinks explained that a bi-annual submission process will incentivize more service providers to participate in the CASF program than a single, annual submission window.[4]  Unlike larger companies that may have their fiber builds planned out a year or more in advance given the time associated with deploying and undergrounding fiber, smaller companies that utilize other technologies, such as fixed wireless, may have more flexibility to take on projects throughout the year.  Moreover, because these smaller companies may have finite network design and deployment resources to dedicate to large builds, a bi-annual application process will allow these companies to determine if the latter portion of the year is better for network project.

AT&T’s proposal would mean the creation of one static list that would not necessarily be updated as service providers may, independently of the CASF program, improve their networks.  While this would make the challenge process more streamlined, it could also mean providing CASF subsidies in areas where broadband becomes available after the creation of the list OR could lead to disincentivizing independent network investment in areas that are CASF eligible.

GeoLinks strongly urges the Commission not to limit CASF applications to one time per year as this structure only serves to benefit the larger carriers.  In addition, while GeoLinks supports the idea of a definitive list of CASF-eligible areas, the Company believes that this list should be updated more than once a year.  If the Commission were to establish such as list as a means for challenging CASF grant applications, it must be updated regularly to ensure that new served areas are not subsidized.

Question 1.b.: 

What should the challenger have to prove (household subscription rate and broadband service speed) during the challenge process? What information should be required of the challengers to an application, other than what is currently proposed in the Staff Proposal? What information should be required of challengers to determine eligibility as indicated on the California Interactive Broadband Availability Map (as proposed by AT&T)? Could such a pre-application eligibility map challenge partially or entirely replace the post-application challenge? If yes, explain. Is the 21-day staff proposed challenge window timeline and challenge criteria also sufficient for the eligibility-map challenge process?  Should the challenges vary by technology? (e.g., should the burden of proof for a fixed wireless Internet service provider submitting a challenge be different than that of a wireline provider?) Why or why not?

As stated above, GeoLinks generally supports the challenge process set forth in the Staff Proposal.  In addition, GeoLinks believes that the 21-day challenge process is sufficient for challenging Broadband Map eligibility, as well, so long as all interested parties are notified when the map is updated and the 21-day process is not triggered until notice is provided.  Whatever challenge process the Commission decides on, GeoLinks asserts that challenge rules (and all CASF rules) must be technology neutral.

As GeoLinks explained in its opening comments on the Scoping Memo, the Commission has made clear its stated goal of administering the CASF program on a “technology neutral” basis.[5]  However, despite this mandate, both the Staff Proposal and now the ACR make recommendations or ask questions that are definitively not technology neutral.  Specifically, the Staff Proposal proposes per household cost thresholds for ministerial review that differ so drastically by technology type that it gives fiber-based projects an inherent advantage.[6]  Now, in the ACR, the Commission asks whether challenges should vary by technology and asks if the burden of proof should be different for fixed wireless providers.[7]  GeoLinks strongly argues that the answer to those questions should be a resounding no.

As an initial matter, the ACR does not explain what this different burden of proof may be or provide any information regarding how a challenge by a fixed wireless provider may differ from a challenge by a traditional, wireline provider.  Fixed wireless providers can provide all of the information that would be required in the Staff Proposal’s challenge report including the geographic location of all served households.  Moreover, fixed wireless providers submit Form 477 data to the FCC and supplemental mapping data to the Commission that can be compared to and concurrently mapped with data provided by wireline providers.  Without clarification, GeoLinks fails to see the need for or benefit in requiring a different standard for fixed wireless service providers that would not be required for other providers.  GeoLinks urges the Commission to adhere to its mandate to administer the CASF program on a technology neutral basis to avoid creating an unfair advantage for one technology type over another that would only serve to thwart interest in the CASF program.

  1. Prioritizing Projects and Areas to Support

GeoLinks supports the idea of prioritizing areas that the Commission or certain stakeholders believe to be priority areas for CASF funding.  While GeoLinks does not have specific areas or census blocks that it recommends be listed as priority areas at this time, the Company requests that if such lists are created that they be updated regularly to account for completed CASF projects, changes in broadband availability, changes in priority levels and/ or demographic information, etc.  This will ensure that the areas in the most need retain priority status while others that may no longer meet the criteria for priority status are downgraded.  Specifically, GeoLinks recommends that these areas be reviewed and updated annually based on updated broadband mapping data and input from broadband consortia groups, municipalities, and other interested stake holders.

  1. Providing Access to Broadband Service to Areas Adjacent to CAF II Areas

Question 3:

The number of eligible CAF II locations exceeds the number of required locations to which CAF II providers must offer service. Many census blocks may have more households than CAF II eligible locations, meaning that some households will not benefit. How can the Commission incentivize CAF II providers to build beyond their commitments to the Federal Communications Commission?  In order to incentivize CAF II providers to deploy throughout the community and in areas adjacent to CAF II areas, should the Commission:

  1. Provide an expedited review process to approve supplemental grants to expand CAF II-related projects?
  2. Should there be a separate process or set-aside of funding for these supplemental builds?
  3. Should supplemental grants be tied to the release of CAF II plans? Should areas where CAF II providers do not commit to build out be reclassified as eligible?
  4. How should the interests of the CAF II providers to choose which CAF II areas they build out to with federal funding while also requiring them to complete other projects in the state) be balanced with competitor interest in bidding to build out in those same communities?

As GeoLinks explained in its opening comments on the Scoping Memo, in adopting any rules related to the treatment of Connect America Fund Phase II (“CAF II”) recipients, GeoLinks urges the Commission to remember that these recipients made commitments to the FCC in exchange for receipt of CAF II funds.  Specifically, these providers agreed that in exchange for the model-based support they would “deploy voice and broadband-capable networks to all supported locations that are deemed ‘high-cost’ and not served by an unsubsidized competitor.”[8]  If a CAF II recipient fails to meet these commitments (either by only completing a portion of an area or not completing an area at all), the Commission should not allow them to game the system and benefit from CASF funding.

Regarding areas where CAF II recipients will complete the requisite buildout, the ACR clearly points to the issue with CAF II funding – that the number of locations the CAF II recipient is required to serve does match the actual number of eligible locations in the same area.  Inevitably, once the CAF II recipients have completed their commitments under CAF II, there will be gaps in broadband coverage.  From a CASF funding perspective, these areas may still be eligible for subsidy under the 40% minimum subscription threshold.  However, because finalization of CAF II obligations is not required until July 2020, this still presents the challenge of long delays before the Commission can address the issue.

GeoLinks believes that information regarding where a CAF II recipient plans to offer broadband within a CAF II area is crucial in CASF planning and sees benefit in offering CASF incentives to CAF II providers who are forthcoming with this information.  Namely, if a CAF II provider is willing to provide the Commission with detailed information regarding what locations within an eligible census block it plans to provide service to, pursuant to its CAF II obligations, then the Commission could offer the CAF II recipient incentives to build out to the remaining locations within an eligible area with CASF matching funds.

In its opening comments, GeoLinks suggested a mandatory waiting period to apply for CASF grants for CAF II providers that bowed out of their FCC commitments.  GeoLinks believes that a similar approach might be appropriate for CAF II recipients that choose (or not) to share information regarding its build out plans with the Commission.  For example, if the CAF II recipient provided this information to the Commission within a specified timeframe from the date of the final Decision in this proceeding (as determined by the Commission), then GeoLinks would support the ability for the CAF II provider to apply for CASF funding on an expedited basis to provide service to the entire eligible area.  However, GeoLinks believes that the incentives should diminish the longer a CAF II recipient waits to provide information to the Commission.  Also, if a CAF II recipient declines to inform the Commission about its buildout plans, GeoLinks urges the Commission to preclude the CAF II recipient from being able to apply for CASF funding for any of its remaining CAF II eligible locations and open those areas up to other CASF applicants as soon as possible.

 

  1. Middle-Mile Infrastructure

Question 5:

How should the Commission verify that a middle-mile build included in a proposed project is “indispensable” to that project, as required by statute? Should Commission Staff rely on the middle-mile location information providers submitted as ordered in D.16-12-025? If middle-mile infrastructure already exists near the proposed project area, under what circumstances may an applicant build its own middle-mile infrastructure? If middle-mile infrastructure already exists near the proposed project area, should there be a limit on how much infrastructure may be built? (e.g., 10 miles, 5 miles, etc.) For purposes of grant funding, is leasing or purchasing middle-mile facilities for terms beyond five years (e.g., IRU for 20 years) allowable or even preferred over building new infrastructure? Alternatively, is a challenge to the project application sufficient to prove it is not indispensable, or a lack of a challenge sufficient to prove that it is?

Access to middle-mile infrastructure is always integral to a proposed network build and broadband providers have to consider many factors when determining whether to attempt to interconnect with existing middle-mile or construct their own.  These factors may include middle-mile proximity, circuit availability, circuit reliability, lease terms, topography, population, available technology, and, of course, cost.  Regardless of the specific factors at play for a proposed project, they all must be weighed on a case-by-case basis.  GeoLinks urges the Commission to consider the factors that CASF applicants will need to weigh and refrain from creating overly-restrictive rules that may hinder a service provider’s ability to complete a proposed project.

As an initial matter, in GeoLinks’ experience, areas that are without high speed broadband connections are also generally without the infrastructure to provide high speed broadband.  This includes not only last mile facilities, but middle-mile, as well.  In these instances, middle-mile infrastructure is undeniably “indispensable” to a proposed project because, without it, there would be no project.

Moreover, even if there is backhaul or middle-mile infrastructure close to a project area, it does not necessarily mean that it is accessible.  GeoLinks recently constructed significant last mile network in the Inland Empire area of California, a predominantly agricultural region that suffered from a lack of last-mile fiber infrastructure.  After 8 months of unsuccessful discussions with the regional incumbent Local Exchange Carrier to negotiate interconnection, GeoLinks was able to obtain interconnection from a reseller.  In this instance, if interconnection had not been available from the reseller, last-mile connections to this area would not have been possible without the construction of extensive middle-mile facilities.  GeoLinks asserts that in such instances this middle-mile infrastructure would have been indispensable to the project despite the proximity of other middle-mile infrastructure.

GeoLinks suggests that the Commission determine whether middle-mile is “indispensable” to a project by requiring CASF applicants that propose to construct middle-mile as part of a proposed project to explain in their applications whether existing middle-mile options, if any, were considered and reasons why that middle-mile is either not a viable option or not cost effective.  GeoLinks believes that this approach will achieve the Commission’s goal of only funding “indispensable” middle-mile infrastructure while giving network providers the flexibility necessary to determine the best approach to building robust, high speed broadband networks.

//

  • CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, GeoLinks urges the Commission to consider these comments and implement final CASF rules that ensure flexibility for competitive carriers, technology neutral administration of the program, incentives for participation, and prevent gaming of the program to block competition.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

/s/ Melissa Slawson

 

Melissa Slawson

General Counsel/ V.P. of Government Affairs and Education

California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks

251 Camarillo Ranch Rd

Camarillo, CA 93012

 

August 8, 2018

 

[1] For more information about fixed-wireless technology and GeoLinks’ Clearfiber™ network, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8GvGOKCpnk
[2] Assuming minimum speed requirements are met.
[3] Opening Comments of AT&T on Phase II Staff Proposal (filed April 16, 2018), at 9.
[4] Opening Comments of GeoLinks on Phase II Staff Proposal (filed April 16, 2018), at 8.
[5] Interim Opinion Implementing California Advanced Services Fund, Decision 07-12-054 (rel. December 20, 2007), at 8: “The CASF shall be administered on a technology neutral basis by the Commission.”  See also Id. At 28: “CASF funding proposals will be reviewed based upon how well they meet the criteria for selection as set forth below, and, where applicable, compared with any competing claims to match the deployment offer under superior terms. Such criteria should be evaluated on a competitively neutral basis.” (Emphasis added).
[6] See Staff Proposal at Section 1.7.
[7] ACR at 5.
[8] Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Seventh Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 29 FCC Rcd 7051 (rel. June 10, 2014), at para. 60.
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Reply Comments on Phase II — Amended Scoping Memo and Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling

BEFORE THE

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund.  |   Rulemaking No. 12-10-012 (Filed October 25, 2012)

 

REPLY COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. (U-7326-C) DBA GEOLINKS ON PHASE II OF THE FEBRUARY 14, 2018 AMENDED SCOPING MEMO AND ASSIGNED COMMISSIONER’S RULING

 

  1. INTRODUCTION

California Internet, L.P. (U-7326-C) dba GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”)[1] respectfully submits these reply comments on the Phase II Staff Proposal set forth in the February 14, 2018 Amended Scoping Memo and Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling (“Ruling”).

 

  1. DISCUSSION
    1. The Per Household Threshold for Ministerial Review Should be Technology Neutral

As noted in its Opening Comments, GeoLinks supports Staff’s proposal to create a ministerial review process for certain projects.  The Company believes that such a process will reserve Commission resources and encourage more participation in the CASF program.  However, commenters agree that the per household cost thresholds Staff proposes for this ministerial review process should be changed.  For example, the California Cable and Telecommunications Association (“CCTA”) asserts that these thresholds are not technology neutral, explaining that the thresholds give “fiber-to-the-home a 12-13 times cost advantage over other technologies.”[2]  The Joint Consumers urge the Commission to “ensure that applicants interested in the expedited process develop cost-effective project plans” after addressing that the $15,560 figure for fiber is “relatively high.”[3]  In addition, Frontier objects to the cost-per-household criteria explaining that “[u]se of prior CASF cost per household as a criteria for expedited treatment is not justified, prudent, or pursuant to any legislative direction.”[4]

In its opening comments, GeoLinks urged the Commission to set a flat cost per household threshold for its ministerial review process that would apply to all CASF applicants, regardless of technology type.  Some commenters proposed different ideas for these thresholds.  Joint Consumers suggest that the Commission develop a cost model equation for estimating fiber costs.  Though GeoLinks is not opposed to the creation of a cost model, this proposed solution does not get at the heart of the issue – that different technology types are placed on different footing under Staff’s proposal.  Instead, while not specifically proposed in the context of ministerial review, GeoLinks urges the Commission to take note of Frontier’s suggestion to create a review threshold where total project costs are below $5 million, and/ or cost per-household is below $3000 (seemingly regardless of technology-type) and apply a similar structure to the ministerial review process.[5]  GeoLinks asserts that regardless of what threshold, methodology, equation, etc. Staff uses for its ministerial review, it must be applied equally to all projects, regardless of technology type.

 

  1. The Commission Should Adopt and Adhere to the Proposed 21-day Challenge Process

Several commenters make suggestions regarding the appropriate process for challenging proposed CASF projects.  As an initial matter, GeoLinks believes that the challenge process is important to ensure CASF funds are not spent on projects where there is existing broadband service but asserts that the Commission must strike a balance to ensure adequate time to challenge without creating a challenge process that will cause endless delays to CASF project review.  As Race Telecommunications Communications Inc. (“Race”) attests, late challenges cause delays and can result in additional costs to an applicant.[6]   Therefore, GeoLinks supports the proposed 21-calendar day challenge process, but, similar to Race, only if there is strict adherence to it.[7]

GeoLinks urges the Commission to reject other proposed challenge processes and timeframes presented by other commenters that would significantly expand or contract the 21-day proposed process.  Joint Consumers, for example, propose “a 45-day challenge window from the date the application” is filed.[8]  While, Joint Consumers assert that 21-days may not be enough time to ensure substantive and meaningful challenges, it fails to provide any examples.[9]  GeoLinks asserts that for carriers who are actively tracking the CASF process and are on the CASF Distribution List, 21-days is sufficient to prepare and submit a challenge.  In addition, a 21-day limit ensures no unreasonable delays by a would-be challenger that could ultimately slow down the application process.

On the flip side, AT&T essentially suggests that the project-specific challenge process be eliminated.  AT&T urges the Commission to compose a list of eligible census blocks, including which are designated as low-income or high-priority, that carriers can use to prepare CASF applications.[10]  However, AT&T suggests that this list be created “each year before applications are submitted.”[11]  This proposal assumes one application period per year and fails to account for the ever-changing broadband landscape in California and for business model differences between larger, incumbent, fiber-based carriers and smaller, more nimble, competitive carriers.  First, due to the process for reporting and mapping broadband availability data, the California Broadband map does not change in real-time as availability changes.  Second, because smaller, competitive carriers may not be limited by fiber construction requirements, such as fixed-wireless providers, network deployment efforts can happen on a more rapid basis.  Limiting the ability to challenge CASF projects to once a year may mean CASF subsidies funding projects in areas where deployment occurs after the list is created (and the initial challenge period has been exhausted).  Or, it may have the effect of disincentivizing carriers from deploying their own infrastructure to unserved areas of the state outside of the CASF process.  In either event, AT&T’s proposed process should be rejected.

GeoLinks urges the Commission to adopt its proposed 21-day process and reject any proposal to expand or contract that challenge window.

 

  1. The Commission Must Ensure the Right of First Refusal Submissions Process Does Not Become a Mechanism for Blocking Competition

As stated in its opening comments, GeoLinks urges the Commission to implement rules to ensure carriers do not use the Right of First Refusal (“ROFR”) process to block areas where they have no intention to deploy broadband infrastructure.  Several commenters express similar sentiments.  Gold Country Broadband Consortium, for example, expresses the importance for the Commission to understand how the ROFR process could be used to block competition, innovation and opportunity.[12]  Moreover, similar to GeoLinks’ suggestion, some commenters agree that there should be negative consequences for ROFR providers that fail to complete projects in a timely manner.[13]  GeoLinks maintains that the Commission should consider penalties for failure to construct an ROFR area after the initial 180-day period, or any granted extension, such as preclusion from participating in the CASF program.

 

  1. Connect America Fund Recipients Should be Subject to Mandatory Waiting Periods Before Becoming Eligible to Apply for CASF Funding.

As stated in its opening comments, in adopting any rules related to the treatment of Connect America Fund Phase II (“CAF”) recipients, GeoLinks urges the Commission to remember that these recipients made commitments to the FCC in exchange for receipt of CAF funds.  As an initial matter, GeoLinks agrees with CETF that there should be a waiting period before a CASF Application can be submitted for a CAF area.[14]  However, as GeoLinks suggested in its opening comments, this waiting period should apply specifically to the CAF recipient that opted not to complete a CAF build in that area.

As a specific example, GeoLinks cited a notice filed by Frontier in which it informed the Commission that it would not be pursuing a specific CAF area (Desert Shores) and the CASF application for the exact same area that Frontier filed the very next day.  In its opening comments, Frontier appears to laud its own actions as an effort to “leverage CAF deployment” and alerts the Commission that it may follow a similar path in other areas, depending on the Commission’s actions on its CASF application.[15]

While GeoLinks supports leveraging federal funds to maximize the effectiveness of the CASF program, GeoLinks does not support Frontier’s actions.  As GeoLinks noted in its opening comments, Frontier essentially blocked all other broadband providers from being able to seek CASF funding to serve the Desert Shores area – providers that may have proposed a better project for the area than that proposed by Frontier.  As such, GeoLinks continues to suggest CAF recipients that relinquish a CAF area be subject to minimum a 90-day mandatory waiting period before a CASF application for that area can be submitted (or longer, depending on when notice is provided).[16]

 

  1. The Commission Should Allow More Than One CASF Application Submission Period Each Calendar Year

GeoLinks agrees with other commenters that there should be more than one CASF application deadline per year.  In the Proposal, Staff addresses the approval delays that have, to date, been commonplace in the CASF program.[17]  Specifically, staff proposes two CASF grant application opportunities each year (every 180 days).  GeoLinks supports the notion of more than one application period per year.  As Race points out, an annual submission is too rigid and will result in more delated broadband service to the public.[18]  GeoLinks agrees and urges the Commission to adopt Race’s suggestion to accept CASF applications on a rolling basis, not on a set schedule.[19]

At a minimum, GeoLinks urges the Commission to adopt at least two application periods and reject any attempt to reduce the number of application periods.  Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to reject AT&T’s suggestion that there should be a single deadline for CASF applications.[20]  As GeoLinks explained in its opening comments, more application periods will incentivize more service providers to participate in the CASF program.  As explained above, because smaller, competitive carriers may not be limited by fiber construction requirement, such as fixed-wireless providers, network deployment efforts can happen on a more rapid basis, meaning that decisions to expand existing infrastructure can happen more quickly.  Ignoring these factors when finalizing rules for the CASF program could ultimately disincentivize competitive carriers from applying at all.  As the Commission seeks to incentivize more participation in the CASF program, GeoLinks believes that ensuring multiple opportunities to submit CASF applications will help further this goal and encourages the Commission to adopt rules accordingly.

 

  1. Higher Proposed Speeds Should be Given More Weight as a Scoring Criteria

GeoLinks echoes the disappointment of other commenters regarding the changes to speed thresholds set forth in AB 1665.[21]  Therefore, the Commission must do something to ensure that unserved areas of California do not fall too far behind the national standard of 25 Mbps / 3 Mbps implemented by the FCC.

The Commission should reject outright AT&T’s assertion that because 10/1 “is a mandatory prerequisite for any application, the Commission should eliminate the points that Staff proposes to allocate for bandwidth speed.”[22]  This “good enough” approach does nothing to future-proof network design to ensure adequate speed and capacity for years to come and runs contrary to the goals of the CASF program.[23]  Instead, GeoLinks strongly agrees with Race that applications with faster speeds should be scored higher that those that propose slower speeds.[24]

 

  • CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, GeoLinks urges the Commission to adopt changes that ensure technology neutral administration of the CASF program, incentives for participation, promote robust, “future proof” CASF projects, and prevent gaming of the program to block competition.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

/s/ Melissa Slawson

 

Melissa Slawson

General Counsel, V.P. of Government Affairs and Education

California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks

251 Camarillo Ranch Rd

Camarillo, CA 93012

 

May 1, 2018

 

[1] For more information about fixed-wireless technology and GeoLinks’ Clearfiber™ network, visit https://geolinks.com/what-is-fixed-wireless-internet
[2] CCTA Opening Comments at 9-10, expressing concern that “the criteria for triggering ‘expedited ministerial review’ is not ‘technology neutral’ as required by Pub. Util. Code § 281(f)(1).”
[3] The Utility Reform Network, and the Greenlining Institute (“Joint Consumers”) Opening Comments at 2.
[4] Citizens Telecommunications Company of California Inc., Frontier Communications of the Southwest Inc., and Frontier California Inc. (“Frontier”) Opening Comments at 5.
[5] GeoLinks supports this flat per-household cost but cautions against the price-per-project cost without additional requirements (perhaps such as minimum households served, or minimum area covered, etc.).
[6] Race Opening Comments at 9.
[7] See Id. at 9.
[8] Joint Consumers Opening Comments at 15.
[9] Id. at 14.
[10] AT&T Opening Comments at 10.
[11] Id. at 9.
[12] Gold Country Broadband Consortium Opening Comments at 2.
[13] California Emerging Technology Fund (“CETF”) Opening Comments at 3.
[14] Id. at 2.
[15] Frontier Opening Comments at 9
[16] See GeoLinks’ Opening Comments at 7.
[17] Ruling, Appendix C. at 13.
[18] Race Opening Comments at 8.
[19] Id. at 8.
[20] See AT&T at 19 and at FN 12.
[21] See e.g. Race Communications at 4, California Center for Rural Policy, Rural County Representatives of California, Upstate California Connect Consortium and the Northeastern California Connect Consortium at 6, North Bay North Coast Broadband Consortium at 5.
[22] AT&T Opening Comments at 22.
[23] See Joint Consumers Opening Comments at 11, suggesting that the Commission look to more factors than cost when assessing scoring criteria.
[24] Race Opening Comments at 5.
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Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Modifications to the CASF

BEFORE THE

CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Modifications to the California Advanced Services Fund.  | Rulemaking No. 12-10-012 (Filed October 25, 2012)

OPENING COMMENTS OF CALIFORNIA INTERNET, L.P. (U-7326-C) DBA GEOLINKS ON PHASE II OF THE FEBRUARY 14, 2018 AMENDED SCOPING MEMO AND ASSIGNED COMMISSIONER’S RULING

I. INTRODUCTION

 

California Internet, L.P. (U-7326-C) dba GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) respectfully submits these opening comments on the Phase II Staff Proposal set forth in the February 14, 2018 Amended Scoping Memo and Assigned Commissioner’s Ruling (“Ruling”).

Headquartered in Camarillo, CA, GeoLinks is nationally recognized for its innovative Internet and Hosted Voice solutions.  The Company’s proprietary ClearFiber™ product utilizes a combination of terrestrial fiber optic backhaul, carrier-grade full-duplex fixed wireless equipment, and FCC licensed spectrum to deliver ultra-reliable high-speed broadband Internet access via radio waves.[1]

GeoLinks was the largest construction grant winner for California K-12 schools and libraries in both 2016 and 2017, providing highspeed broadband to nearly 30 rural school districts and surrounding communities throughout the state that previously had not had access to any high-speed broadband service. The Company hopes to leverage its expertise in connecting unserved areas of the state to apply for California Advanced Services Fund (“CASF”) funding in the coming year.

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Commission Should Allow Flexibility in How CASF Applicants Provide Project Location Data

In its proposal, Staff proposes that CASF Applicants provide, among other things, the following with respect to project location data:

  • The geographic location of the project related key network equipment, such as: DSLAMs, wireless towers, router facilities, network interconnection, etcetera. (Format to be determined by Staff)[2]

In finalizing the format for such a requirement, GeoLinks urges the Commission to allow for flexibility in the provision of this information between the application and construction phases of the CASF process.  GeoLinks recommends that for the application phase Staff require this information by census area from CASF applicants.  Providing infrastructure location information by census area provides staff with mappable infrastructure data while ensuring maximum flexibility for network design.  Especially for competitive providers that are not limited by fiber construction requirements, the exact locations for certain pieces of network infrastructure (i.e. towers or receivers) may shift during the construction phase to account for land procurement, leasing, permitting, topography and vegetation, etc.  Moreover, requiring this information at a more granular level at the application phase may result in delays if an applicant has to seek approval of any changes, even if the resulting network functions exactly the same.  For these reasons, GeoLinks urges the Commission to seek this information at a census area level as part of the CASF application process.

B. The Per Household Threshold for Ministerial Review Should be the Same Regardless of Technology Type

In the Proposal, Staff addresses the approval delays that have, to date, been commonplace in the CASF program.[3]  Specifically, Staff addresses that the majority of projects take several years before approval is granted, creating opportunities for new challenges and problems.  To streamline the approval process, Staff recommends ministerial review process for applications that meet certain criteria.[4]

As an initial matter, GeoLinks supports Staff’s proposal to create a ministerial review process for certain projects.  The Company believes that such a process will reserve Commission resources and ensure that broadband deployment to unserved areas is completed on a more expedited basis.  In addition, GeoLinks believes such a process will encourage more participation in the CASF program as companies will no longer be faced with the open-ended uncertainty of when a project might get approved.  However, GeoLinks asserts that the per household cost thresholds Staff proposes for this ministerial review process will thwart Staff’s efforts to streamline the program and incentivize carriers to bid on these low-income areas.

As proposed, the process set forth for low-income communities creates a huge disparity between technology types.  Specifically, Staff proposes allowing this streamlined process for fixed wireless projects only if proposed project costs are $1,285 per household or less.  However, for the same project area (and likely the same offered speeds, prices, customer service, etc.), Staff proposes an allowable project cost of $15,650 per household for fiber builds – more than 12x the amount allowed for fixed wireless projects.[5]  Moreover, there is no limit proposed for satellite providers, assuming they are eligible to bid.

On its face, this discrepancy is contrary to the Commission’s stated goal of administering the CASF program on a “technology neutral” basis.[6]  While not clear from Staff’s proposal, GeoLinks believes these numbers may be based on amounts approved for projects in the past.  However, these numbers should be used as a mechanism to reevaluate the per household costs the Commission has historically awarded to broadband providers, not as a method by which to hinder certain technology-types from bidding on a CASF-eligible area.

For example, if a fixed wireless provider applies to provide high-speed broadband to households in a CASF-eligible, low-income area of the state for $1500 per household, that fixed wireless provider should not be precluded from the ministerial process when a fiber-based project, that will likely offer the same speeds, would be eligible – and for potentially upwards of $14,000 more PER HOUSEHOLD.

The proposed price discrepancy gives fiber providers a huge advantage and will only serve to disincentivize competitive providers from submitting CASF applications for areas where the cost threshold might be more than $1,285 per household.  In addition, a provider that submitted an application for slightly more than the threshold for fixed wireless would run the risk of being beat out by a fiber provider offering to deploy service for 12x the cost because they can get approved in a shorter period of time under the ministerial process.  This structure not only picks winners and losers in the CASF application process but encourages wasteful spending that could have be avoided if other technology types were given an equal opportunity for expedited application review.  Certainly, as proposed, this discrepancy fails meet the Assigned Commissioner’s stated goal to “consider appropriate administrative controls to ensure that funds granted to eligible applicants are administered efficiently and cost-effectively, consistent with the Account’s stated purposes and objectives.”[7]

Instead, GeoLinks urges the Commission to set a flat cost per household threshold for its ministerial review process that would apply to all CASF applicants, regardless of technology type.  Not only will this flat per household amount simplify the review process, but it will set all service providers on equal footing for ministerial review, ensuring maximum participation in the CASF program and promoting more efficient use of CASF funds.

C. GeoLinks supports Staff’s Proposal to Initiate a Request for Proposal Process “High-Priority” Areas but Urges Staff to Reevaluate Whether These Areas Are Still CASF-Eligible

Staff proposes implementing a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) process for “high-priority” areas where no applications have been received.  GeoLinks strongly supports Staff’s suggestion to implement an RFP process for these areas.  However, in doing so, GeoLinks urges the Commission to direct Staff to reevaluate the priority areas to assess census blocks that are currently available for CASF funding.

Earlier this year, GeoLinks was in the process of finalizing a CASF Application for several localities within the Salinas Valley area, all of which are listed as priority areas on the Commission’s website.[8]  However, between the changes implemented by Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1665[9] and new projects in the area (which were not previously reflected on the California Broadband Map), the area appears to be all but ineligible for CASF funding.  And the areas that remain cannot be served by a non-incumbent carrier without requiring a huge cost per household.  While GeoLinks has not analyzed all of the “priority areas” designated by the Commission, it stands to reason that a refresh of these areas may be necessary.  With specific guidance and direction for eligible areas in conjunction with a streamlined, ministerial review process, GeoLinks believes that the RFP process will yield numerous bidders and revitalize broadband deployment efforts in these priority areas.  Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to update the California Broadband map to account for any changes that may impact high-priority areas (or any CASF-eligible areas), including awarded CASF grants, Commission-approved settlement agreements pursuant to merger transactions, other federal and state grant funding, etc., and to do so more expeditiously going forward

In addition, similar to the process recommended above, GeoLinks suggests that carriers be placed on equal footing with respect to eligibility to bid on these RFPs.  Specifically, GeoLinks urges the Commission to score applications based on the same criteria, regardless of technology type, and suggests a flat per household threshold for ministerial review, applicable to all applicants.

D. The Commission Should Create Rules for Right of First Refusal Submissions to Avoid the Process Becoming a Mechanism for Blocking Competition

GeoLinks urges the Commission to implement rules to ensure carriers do not use the Right of First Refusal (“ROFR”) process to block areas where they have no intention to deploy broadband infrastructure.  First, GeoLinks urges the Commission to implement rules that limit a carrier’s ability to file multiple ROFR letters for the same area.  If a carrier files an ROFR for an area, it has 180 days to either deploy broadband/ upgrade its existing facilities or seek an extension.  If after the exhaustion of the initial 180-day period or any granted extension the provider has failed to deploy or upgrade its facilities as set forth in the ROFR, the carrier should not be allowed to re-bid the area in any subsequent round.   Second, GeoLinks believes that repeated extensions are only reasonable if the delay is completely outside the control of the ROFR filer.  Delays due to inability to secure funding, reasonably avoidable construction delays, etc. should not suffice.  Lastly, the Commission should consider penalties for failure to never construct an ROFR area after seeking an extension such as preclusion from participating in the CASF program.

E. Connect America Fund Recipients Should be Subject to Mandatory Waiting Periods Before Becoming Eligible to Apply for CASF Funding.

As set forth in AB 1665, Connection America Fund Phase II (“CAF”) areas are ineligible for CASF funding until July 1, 2020, unless the existing facility-based broadband provider has notified the Commission before July 1, 2020, that it has either completed or elected not to build its CAF deployment in the census block.  In its Proposal, Staff seeks comment on the following:

  1. How can the Commission incentivize existing facilities based broadband providers to build out their CAF II obligations in a timely manner?
  2. How and what is the process for existing providers to notify the Commission before July 1, 2020, that it has either completed or elected not to build its CAF [project] to expand broadband service within identified census blocks?[10]

As an initial matter, in adopting any rules related to the treatment of CAF recipients, GeoLinks urges the Commission to remember that these recipients made commitments to the FCC in exchange for receipt of CAF funds.  Specifically, these providers agreed that in exchange for the model-based support they would “deploy voice and broadband-capable networks to all supported locations that are deemed ‘high-cost’ and not served by an unsubsidized competitor.”[11]  If a CAF recipient fails to meet these commitments (either by only completing a portion of an area or not completing an area at all), the Commission should not allow them to game the system and benefit from CASF funding.

By way of example, recently Frontier Communications informed the Commission that it would not be pursuing a specific CAF area (Desert Shores).[12]  The very next day, however, Frontier filed a CASF application for the exact same area.[13]  Based on Frontier’s CAF commitment, Staff flagged the Desert Shores area as ineligible for CASF funding.  This blocked all other broadband providers from seeking CASF funding to serve the Desert Shores area.

Clearly, Frontier waited to announce that it would not be using CAF funding for Desert Shores until its CASF application was complete (since that filing occurred the next day).  Meaning that Frontier not only knew in advance it would not be upholding its commitments under CAF but withheld that information from the Commission for its own benefit.  This behavior should not be rewarded and is most certainly not in the public interest.

To avoid this gaming of the CASF program in the future, GeoLinks urges the Commission to subject CAF providers that bow out of their FCC commitments under the CAF program to a mandatory waiting period before they can apply for CASF funding for a previously blocked CAF area.  Specifically, GeoLinks suggests a 90-day mandatory waiting period if notice is provided to the Commission before January 1, 2019 and a 180-day mandatory waiting period if notice is provided to the Commission after January 1, 2019 but before January 1, 2020.  However, if a provider waits until after January 1, 2020, the Commission should completely preclude the provider from applying for CASF funds for the same area.  Moreover, the Commission should consider subjecting any CAF recipient who waits until after January 1, 2020 to inform the Commission of its election not to complete its deployment commitments in a CAF area to a Rule 1.1 violation. Given the time necessary to plan and deploy a broadband network, if a recipient has not begun deployment or made significant steps towards deployment with only 6 months remaining before the July 1, 2020 deadline, it can be inferred that the recipient had no intention of deploying broadband to that area and withheld such information from the Commission constituting misleading “the Commission or its staff by an artifice or false statement of fact or law.”[14]

For these reasons, GeoLinks strongly urges the Commission to develop rules that preclude CAF recipients from gaming the CASF program in their favor.

F. The Commission Should Allow an Additional CASF Application Submission Period Each Calendar Year

In its Proposal, Staff seeks input on timing for CASF submissions, asking the following:

  1. Should an additional CASF grant application opportunity be afforded following the July 31st ROFR completion dates, thereby permitting submission of applications every 180 days? How will this affect prioritization of projects?

GeoLinks supports an additional annual grant application opportunity for a number of reasons.  First, this bi-annual submission process will maximize efficient administration of the CASF program.  A new submission deadline every 6-months will help ensure that application review stays on track for expedited processing.  Paired with the new ministerial processes that Staff has proposed, CASF application review will become more streamlined and allow for the assessment of a second round of applications within a calendar year.

Second, the bi-annual application deadline will incentivize more service providers to participate in the CASF program, as they can plan their CASF application(s) to align better with pre-planned company expenditures or resource allocations.  For example, smaller companies may have finite network design and deployment resources to dedicate to large builds.  If those resources are tied up in a large project for the first half of the year but not the latter half of the year, a company may be precluded from applying for a CASF grant until the next annual deadline.  This could ultimately disincentivize the company to apply at all.   However, if a bi-annual application process was implemented, these broadband providers would have the flexibility to time a CASF application in a way that best aligns with their resource allocation plans.  As the Commission seeks to incentivize more participation in the CASF program, GeoLinks believes a second annual submission deadline would further this goal.

G. The Commission Should Implement Technology Neutral Scoring Criteria

In its Proposal, Staff recommends revising certain scoring criteria to give greater weight to projects in areas that are “low-income” or “high-priority.”[15]  GeoLinks supports this shift in scoring criteria as a way to incentivize projects geared towards these areas.  That said, GeoLinks asserts that staff should not assess points associated with pricing in the same way proposed in Section 1.7 of Appendix C, which places a $1,285 limit per household on fixed wireless project proposals but a whopping $15,650 limit (12x higher) per household for fiber-based projects for ministerial review, based solely on technology type.

GeoLinks urges the Commission to impose a review process that puts all providers on an equal footing to ensure competition amongst CASF applicants.  Specifically, GeoLinks asserts that the Commission must ensure an apples-to-apples comparison when evaluating CASF applications (the total price/ offering regardless of technology) and not an apples-to-fiber comparison that gives more expensive business models a leg up for no reason other than these projects have traditionally been more expensive in the past.  This will ensure that CASF projects costs stay low yet will translate to better use of funds and additional funds for additional projects.

III. CONCLUSION

Based on the foregoing, GeoLinks urges the Commission to adopt changes that ensure flexibility for competitive carriers, technology neutral administration of the program, incentives for participation, and prevent gaming of the program to block competition.

 

/

/

/

/

/

Respectfully submitted,

 

/s/ Melissa Slawson

 

Melissa Slawson

General Counsel, V.P. of Government Affairs and Education

California Internet, L.P. dba GeoLinks

251 Camarillo Ranch Rd

Camarillo, CA 93012

 

April 16, 2018

[1] For more information about fixed-wireless technology and GeoLinks’ Clearfiber™ network, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8GvGOKCpnk
[2] Ruling, Appendix C, at 9-10.
[3] Id., at 13.
[4] Id., at 13
[5] See Id., at 14.
[6] Interim Opinion Implementing California Advanced Services Fund, Decision 07-12-054 (rel. December 20, 2007), at 8: “The CASF shall be administered on a technology neutral basis by the Commission.”  See also Id. At 28: “CASF funding proposals will be reviewed based upon how well they meet the criteria for selection as set forth below, and, where applicable, compared with any competing claims to match the deployment offer under superior terms. Such criteria should be evaluated on a competitively neutral basis.” (Emphasis added).
[7] Ruling at 6.
[8] See http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/uploadedFiles/CPUC_Public_Website/Content/Utilities_and_Industries/ Communications_-_Telecommunications_and_Broadband/ConsortiaPriorityAreas(1).xlsx (last visited April 12, 2018).
[9] Chapter 851, Statutes of 2017.
[10] Ruling, Appendix C, at 16.
[11] Connect America Fund, et al. Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Seventh Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., FCC 14-54 (rel. June 10, 2014), at para. 60.
[12] Frontier notice “CAF II Census Blocks – Desert Shores” (Feb. 6, 2018).
[13] Frontier CASF Broadband Infrastructure Grant Application – Desert Shores (Feb. 7, 2018).
[14] Rule 1.1., Rules of Practice and Procedure.
[15] Ruling, Appendix C, at 18.
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