SACRAMENTO, – Today Assemblymember Jim Wood’s “Broadband Map Act” was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, marking a landmark victory.
Assemblyman Wood said, “This is a huge step in the right direction for the North Coast we are now two steps away from a paramount shift in broadband infrastructure. Reliable connectivity is too important of an issue to settle for the status quo”
Any bill that costs the state more than $50,000 is sent to the Senate “Suspense File”. All bills on the suspense file are heard in one hearing where their fate is decided. In this second year of a two year session, any bill that does not get passed off of the suspense file is dead.
AB 1549 would ask Caltrans to do three things in an effort to expedite the rollout of California’s broadband infrastructure.
First, the bill would require Caltrans to notify broadband providers whenever they are planning roadwork that is capable of housing conduit for fiber cables. By allowing providers to piggyback on the already scheduled construction, fiber networks can be expanded for pennies on the dollar.
Second, if no broadband provider is willing to install the conduits where a trench is open and available, AB 1549 would require Caltrans to do install their own conduit for future use.
Finally AB 1549 would require the state to maintain a central database mapping where fiber networks currently exist. This database will be an invaluable tool for future planning and expansion.
“The North Coast knows first-hand the desperate need for this legislation,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Earlier this year, a Caltrans backhoe went through a critical fiber line in Humboldt which cut service to over 100,000 customers along with local 911 emergency call centers for nearly 24 hours. I appreciate Assemblymember Wood’s work on this critical issue.”
AB 1549 will now go to the Senate Floor for a final vote.
Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa. http://asmdc.org/members/a02/