Central Sierra Connect Steering Committee Notes – April 27, 2015

Central Sierra Connect Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
Monday, 4/27/15
ATCAA, Sonora Office 3rd Floor Conference Room
11:30 – 12 noon Lunch- for those who attend in person
12 noon – 12:45 pm Meeting Begins via conference call and in person

In attendance: Greg Falken, Darrell Slocum, Frank Laschinsky, Daniel Richardson, Troy Ashton, Rosemarie Smallcombe, Steve Smallcombe, Kathleen Haff, Cole Przybyla

On the phone: Connie Williams

1. CVIN Status Report
Frank: Volcano is one of the owners of CVIN. 7 independent telephone companies comprising the ownership. A lot of obstacles had to be overcome. Waiting for southern portion of circuit to be finished. 2 phases. 1st – construction phase. 2nd just now implemented – the sales marketing component. Also waiting for 2nd round of funding for personnel to be completed – caused some delays. They were overwhelmed with the project. The number of requests were overwhelming. Design had to change which added to the cost of the whole project. Now taking orders. Asked if they could make some sort of public announcement when finished. Frank will ask them to do so. The traffic continues to explode. Activated a new port. 1 gig consumed within 2 months. Cable will be turned on its ear in the not too distant future.
Troy: County Schools Office – testing right now, turn over some time this week. Line to the high school is finished (redundancy ring). The high school could use the CVIN ring if they wanted, right now with AT&T.
Darrell: Cautions people to be specific with their frustrations with CVIN. The benefits will be tremendous. Hopeful that they will get people hired and end people’s frustration.

2. CASF Grant Applications Updates
• Cal.net
App was submitted. 1 challenge by Volcano/CalTel/and Sierra. Due to accuracy or lack thereof of CPUC maps. Those 3 companies say that certain areas area already covered. CPUC now has to confirm the information. Ground trothing, some sort of testing or whatever. Cal.net may have to remove certain census blocks. Protests are coming mostly from Calaveras and Amador. There is a small portion of Tuolumne County map protested. Protests come from the smaller ISPs. CPUC will have to decide if the applicant will offer a faster buildout than the incumbent ISP among other factors. Darrell explains that competition is a good thing. More choices. There is nothing in writing available that we know of for the criteria that the CPUC makes these decisions from.

• Sierra Nevada Communications
They are still in the process of creating their shapefile maps and financial documents. Have not submitted yet. Did not submit for Groveland.

3. CSC Future Funding Options
• Current projected end date for current funding
Original grant was for 3 years. Expired 2/28/15. Extension granted to use the rest of the funding. Will hopefully take us through May or June. Depends on level of support we give to the 2nd ISP

• AB1262 status
Effort to make funds available for broadband consortia to continue. It would move $5M from the RLF to the consortia funding. Jim Woods (Mendocino) sponsored the bill. Went from the committee to the Appropriations Committee. Was told that it would go into suspense. Sunne McPeak is working on it. Committee meeting is this Wednesday, 4/29. Even if this bill does pass there will still be a void in funding.

• Outreach for other (gap) funding resources
Bridge funding will be needed. Starting to establish county committees to help. We will go to the counties to ask for funding, SAF for a small grant. Matching funds will be sought.

Suggestions: Katrina from SRMC working to find broadband for the doctors who are moving up here. Contact her (Troy).

• AB 238 (Stone – Santa Cruz) to raise the definition of broadband to 25 down and 3 up. Now a 2-year bill. He owns a vacation cabin in Strawberry.

• Frank: Regarding the change in broadband definition – It will be a challenge to meet those #s. With trees, mountains and geography, it may not be attainable in certain areas. Moving toward a heterogeneous method. Demand for unlicensed spectrum will be further congested. PG&E put their Smart Meters on the 900 mhz spectrum. This has created more problems.

• Not everyone wants to pay for the higher priced options.

4. BB Policy Adoption – looking for one county that would like to begin this legacy work with CSC as a model for other counties in the region

Barriers to implement broadband infrastructure include local government. Daniel: If you really want the clout, get the buy-in from other influential business people behind it.
Cole: Planning commissioners can suggest standards.

Troy: Britebites Report soon to be available on school children’s broadband connectivity at home. Results may be shared in CSC’s next newsletter. Schools are going the Google for Ed Program. Can use iPads, also.

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