To update you all regarding the ongoing saga pitting the corporate polliwogs of Verizon against the fine citizens of Mono County, the following letter was sent by a representative of the California Public Utilities Commission to one of Verizon’s many Vice-Presidents of Government Relations on April 2:
Dear Mr. Rasmussen:
Resolutions T-17330 and T-17350 require Verizon to provide broadband service to the communities of Crowley Lake and Swall Meadows by January 28, 2013. To date, Verizon has not beguin providing that service.
In his January 31, 2013 letter, Commission Executive Director Paul Clanon advised Verizon that it may be subject to penalties for this violation. Your February 5 response indicated that Verizon anticipated offering broadband service in Crowley Lake the week of March 18 and in Swall Meadows the week of April 1. In subsequent emails Verizon specified it would begin accepting orders from Crowley Lake residents on March 27.
Editor’s insertion for clarity: According to the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) website, “With an initial funding of $100 million, the CASF ((California Advanced Services Fund) supports projects that will a) provide broadband services to areas currently without broadband access and b) build out facilities in underserved areas, if funds are still available.”
Resolution T-17143, which implemented the CASF program, cautions CASF recipients that payment will be reduced if grantees are unable to meet the standard 24-month project completion timeframe. In Resolution T-17330, the Commission ordered Verizon to begin offering broadband service to Crowley lake and Swall Meadows by no later than January 28, which became the Project’s established completion date in lieu of the standard 24-month timeline. As Verizon has not yet complied with this deadline, it is in violation of Resolutions T-17330 and T-17350. Resolution T-17350 awarded Verizon up to $286,398.45 in CASF funding to assist it in providing broadband servi8ce to the communities in question.
Accordingly, Commission staff, pursuant to T-17143, intends to seek reduction of Verizon’s CASF maximum grant award by $2,000 for each day after January 28 that it does not provide broadband service to both communities. Further, if Verizon is not serving both communities by April 5, that daily reduction shall increase to $3,000 per day.
Despite the missed deadline, Verizon should provide broadband service to these communities as ordered and notify the Commission when it begins offering service.
Robert Wullenjohn, Program Mgr.
California Public Utilities Comm.
Citizen watchdog Stephen Kalish of Swall Meadows said he is “pleased that the CPUC has told Verizon what the delay will cost them. I hope it will incentivize Verizon to bring broadband service to our communities posthaste.”