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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco



Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov


SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today announced it was awarded an additional $5,637,544 under the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) Grant Program to expand its projects to collect and map information on broadband service availability and increase broadband awareness and usage in the state.

Last October, after being named by Governor Schwarzenegger as the one California entity eligible to apply, the CPUC was awarded an initial $2.3 million, bringing its total funding to $7.9 million. The SBDD Grant Program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act, and is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), part of the Department of Commerce.

"This is wonderful news for California. It extends the CPUC's data collection and broadband mapping activities for an additional three years," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey. "California is the only state in the nation to be awarded grant funds to measure actual wireless broadband speeds throughout the state, providing the country's most accurate assessment of the increasingly important wireless market."

The CPUC is teaming up with the Chico Research Foundation at California State University Chico, and the computer science department at California State University, Monterey Bay to help design and execute the wireless measurement project.

Broadband service provides high-speed access to the Internet. Currently, broadband service is available to approximately 95 percent of California's households. Approximately 66 percent of the state's households subscribe to wired broadband service, and another 9 percent of the total California population subscribes to mobile, wireless broadband.

Both the state and the federal government have adopted policies to make broadband service available to all households, and to promote broadband education and subscribership through a variety of programs, such as the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). In addition to the SBDD grants, the Recovery Act included approximately $7 billion dollars in broadband grants for infrastructure deployment, computer centers, and adoption programs. The information available as a result of the grant will be critical in targeting government efforts to achieve these goals.

Interactive broadband maps will soon be available online for consumers to identify providers of broadband services, the maximum speeds advertised speeds, and actual speeds experienced at any address they specify. Maps will also be used by the CPUC to identify areas currently unserved or underserved, where the CPUC will allocate up to $225 million in infrastructure grants to applicants under its CASF program.

The NTIA's press release on the grants awarded is available at www.ntia.doc.gov/press/2010/BTOP_SBDD_09272010.html.

Visit California's economic recovery web portal at www.recovery.ca.gov.

For more information on the CPUC, its Broadband Mapping and CASF programs, and to view broadband availability maps, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


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