California Issues Last Mile Fund Draft Resolutions


Applicants for California’s Last Mile Federal Funding Account can expect to receive feedback soon.

Teralyn Whipple California Issues Last Mile Fund Draft Resolutions Photo of California Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2021 by Jane Tyska by Bay Area News Group

June 7, 2024 – The California Public Utilities Commission began Friday to issue public recommendations for its Last Mile Federal Funding Account awards on a rolling basis. 

Staff recommendations will be issued for public comment as “draft resolutions.” Recommendations will then be required to be approved by the CPU before grants are officially awarded.

An application not recommended for award in the initial resolutions may be recommended for award in a later resolution. Some awards will qualify for “ministerial awards,” meaning that staff can award without a Commission vote. 

The application window for the award closed in September and the initial objection period closed in November, following a 28-day objection period. 

The CPU’s Federal Funding Account received over 450 applications, with at least two applications for each county in the state. The total request for awards was more than $4.6 billion for last-mile broadband infrastructure projects. 

CPU staff are now analyzing applications, objections, and responses to select applications that will receive the requested funds. The state has $2 billion available for last-mile infrastructure projects.

In 2021, Gov. Gavin Newson (D) signed legislation that allocated a total of $6 billion for broadband infrastructure projects across the state. An additional $550 million was added to that the next year, followed by $73 million more from a federal grant in 2023. 

Of the $6 billion, $3.25 was dedicated to the statewide middle-mile network, $750 million for assisting local governments and nonprofits in securing private financing to construct fiber networks, and $50 million for technical assistance grants. 

California officials said on Wednesday that the middle-mile program is ahead of schedule, although it is expected to reach a shortfall after the governor’s office rescinded promised money last month.