CSAC Bulletin Article

New Maps for Broadband Middle-Mile Network

During the Middle Mile Advisory Committee meeting last week, the state’s contracted third party administrator, GoldenStateNet, released new draft maps of the statewide middle mile network design. The maps contain a number of changes, including additions, to previous proposals, so interested county officials should be sure to examine how they would affect their regions.

The presentation linked above, which divides the state into five development regions, highlighting the existing infrastructure, geographic features, socioeconomic factors, and broadband coverage in each region.

Earlier today, The California Department of Technology is currently reviewing the map and will next provide a map to Caltrans so they can start the systemwide preconstruction work, which is anticipated to take 18 to 24 months before construction can begin.  In the meantime, GoldenStateNet will continue its mapping of existing infrastructure that can be utilized for long-term leases. 

During their presentation, they reiterated their preference for using fiber-optic cable construction where feasible, but to use “Dark Fiber IRUs” when appropriate to reduce costs and speed deployment. (“Dark Fiber IRUs” are Indefeasible Rights of Use for dark fiber, in other words, long-term contracts to use existing infrastructure that is owned by someone else.)

A recording of the meeting, when it becomes available, will be on the Middle-Mile Advisory Committee webpage under “Past Meeting Resources.” Also available is a page for submitting public comment and a number of other resources, FAQs, and other information about the statewide middle-mile network.

For county officials interested in other broadband efforts, the state’s Broadband for All portal includes a number of resources, including a mailing list subscription option.

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