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CPUC May Vote Next Week on BEAD Subgrantee Rules

The California Public Utilities Commission may vote Feb. 23 to open a proceeding to consider rules for NTIA broadband, equity, access and deployment (BEAD) grants, showed a Wednesday agenda. The rulemaking will consider requirements “to determine grant funding, eligibility and…

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compliance for funds distributed to California under” BEAD, said the proposed order. “The issues this proceeding would address include developing rules, where the Commission has discretion, that would apply to the subgrantees to whom the Commission would award BEAD funding.” That includes setting an extremely high-cost per-location threshold and deciding what geographic level to solicit proposals from applicants. Also, the CPUC would ask about additional prioritization factors, including how much weight to give proposals that use the state’s open-access middle-mile network. The proceeding would consider rules on overlapping project areas, the challenge process, match requirements, grant conditions and impacts on environmental and social justice communities. Comments will be due 45 days after the rulemaking opens.