Planning for Broadband: An Evaluation of California's High Speed Internet Infrastructure Programs
Miller, Ryan Gregory
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This thesis assesses the implementation of the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), which expands broadband Internet service to high-need communities in rural California. I examine 25 successful projects funded by the program as well as one large project which failed to obtain funding from the program - dubbed Golden Bear Broadband. By pulling from the fields of economics, philosophy, and political science, I attempt to understand how the planning process for CASF projects affects the program's goal of serving high need communities. I also examine equity issues surrounding the program's funding mechanism and policy objectives. By reconstructing the stakeholder agreements made in planning for Golden Bear Broadband, I show that the planning process lead to a project design that was forced to stray from program objectives. I conclude with recommendations for reforming broadband subsidization policy in California and observations about how alternate plans for service expansion are currently being carried out in rural parts of the state.
- Urban planning