Dahle Bill To Expand Rural Broadband Access Signed Into Law

Today, Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (Bieber) announced that his bill to expand high-speed internet access in rural California was signed into law. Assembly Bill 1665 will strengthen the California Advanced Services Fund, which supports modern communications infrastructure in underserved areas.

“For too long, rural Californians haven’t had the same internet options the rest of the state enjoys,” said Dahle. “This bill will help close that gap and connect more people to the internet’s healthcare, education, and employment resources.”

AB 1665 sets a goal of providing broadband access to 98 percent of California households. To reach that goal, the California Public Utilities Commission will work with internet providers and communities to fund cost-effective projects to expand high-speed internet options.

-from press release
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13 Responses

  1. Frank Treadway says:

    This is great and long overdue. A private consortium has created a high-speed internet system from Dunsmuir-Weed-Mt. Shasta area, they did this on their own. Next it would be great if Mr. Dahle would get his Republican colleagues on board for a light-rail from Redding to SAC. Time to think into the future.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    What’s the definition of “high-speed internet” under this bill? If it’s no better than Hughes.net (my god-awful satellite provider), I’m unimpressed. If it’ll get me to half the speed and reliability that cable was giving me in town, I’ll rejoice.

    • Dick says:

      It’s in the bill:

      “(B) For purposes of this section, “unserved household” means a household for which no facility-based broadband provider offers broadband service at speeds of at least 6 megabits per second (mbps) downstream and one mbps upstream.”

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        My satellite provider *offers* 20 Mbps download speed—that’s what I’m paying for. I’ve been gotten 1.0-1.5 Mbps for six months, since I signed up.

        A big part of the problem for rural customers is the huge gap between what is offered and what is delivered. Frontier is the same way—but they weasel-word it by saying that they’ll provide “up to 3 Mbps,” and then deliver less than 1 Mbps.

        Unfortunately, I don’t have line-of-sight to either of the fixed wireless broadband radio providers.

        • Dick says:

          I don’t think I have ever heard anything good about satellite internet, and the latency delay (time for the signal to go all the way to the bird and back) is unavoidable.

          I’m fortunate to have com-pair, I pay for 6 Mbps and get 6 Mbps 🙂

      • Tim says:

        I’m not sure what “facility-based” means, but even throttled Verizon 4G exceeds 6/1 Mbps and works in most of Shasta County.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          I’m experiencing serious Verizon throttling for the first time—until recently I’d been using Verizon exclusively for months, since Hughes.net is such a total bust.

          Throttled, my ping rate for Verizon is still 20x faster than Hughesnet, but my download speed is averaging 0.6 Mbps, and it’s been that way for a couple of weeks. I checked my account, and 0.6 is exactly what they say they’ll deliver after I exceed 15 GB in data. That’s under my current Verizon “Unlimited” plan.

          I just checked, and Verizon has a plan called “Beyond Unlimited” (wherever you are, you can probably hear me laughing) that allegedly includes “unlimited 4G LTE data.” It’s $220 per month for the data instead of $110, so my Verizon bill would go up to over $400+/month. And yeah, I’ll probably do the upgrade.

          • Beverly Stafford says:

            I hope Com-Pair installs a line-of-sight transmitter in your area. When we got our first cell phone, we used Verizon. We had to go out to the end of the driveway in order to make calls. Who knows how many incoming calls we missed. The Sheriff’s Department used AT&T because Verizon service was so spotty; so we switched and have had no problem with service since changing. That’s phone service; I don’t know what their Internet service is like. Is DISH or DirecTV Internet as bad as Hughes?

          • Tim says:

            That’s interesting, and unfortunate, Steve. A thread on Verizon’s community forum indicates that my “grandfathered” unlimited Verizon plan is quite different from the new unlimited plans.

            With mine, after ~20gb I get put in the back of the que which seems to raise latency but not throughput. Only when the network is congested (e.g. around 7pm on certain evenings) do I get bumped down to their 3G network, which is nominally 7Mbps and marginal for HD video streaming (expect occasional buffering).

            It seems with their new unlimited plans, after 10 or 15gb your hotspot drops to an unusable 0.12Mbps, but your phone *should* never drop below 3G.

  3. James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

    Good work, Mr. Dahle. Sure 6 mbps is slow compared to the 20 or so cable will give you, but it is enough (or nearly enough) to live-stream HD video. In a data-driven economy, rural people deserve a reasonably even break.

  4. LeRoy says:

    I hope it is for real. My Frontier service gets me all excited when I can get 1 whole megabit per second

  5. Beverly Stafford says:

    After years of tears and frustration, we switched from “Frontear” to Com-Pair and are happy with the service. Line of sight is necessary, but perhaps signing up more subscribers will increase the number of repeaters.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      In order to have line of sight, we would have had to fell a couple of trees which we didn’t want to do. However, our neighbors are at a higher elevation than we are; so line of sight was no problem. They have service into their home plus are “down-stepped” to his shop Since they are good friends, they allowed Com-Pair to “down-step” to us, too.

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