Today’s Regulatory Mix: California Law Requires Backup Power for Telco Providers, Pennsylvania Awards Over $20 Million in ECF Funding
California Law Requires Backup Power for Telco Providers
Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) has signed into law SB 341 requiring the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop rules requiring telecommunications service providers to maintain backup electrical supply sufficient to maintain service for at least 72 hours. Such providers will be required to maintain a public outage map on its website showing that provider’s outages. The Office of Emergency Services (Office) is to adopt requirements for those maps on or before July 1, 2022. In addition, the new law requires the Office to aggregate all reported data and make it available to the PUC. In turn, the PUC will report to the Legislature action taken using the community isolation outage information.
Pennsylvania Awards Over $20 Million in ECF Funding
Governor Wolf announced that 126 Pennsylvania schools and libraries are beneficiaries of $20.57 million in the first wave of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund(ECF). The $7.17 billion ECF, created through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, is the nation’s largest single effort to ensure students have access to the digital devices and resources they need for the school year. The program also helps libraries offer their patrons internet connectivity. “We know that access to technology and reliable internet help support our students’ learning when they’re not on campus, however, the pandemic has only increased and exacerbated inequities in access,” said Governor Wolf. “The ECF program is providing a valuable resource to help school entities and libraries across the commonwealth create digital equity for all of Pennsylvania’s students, no matter what city or town they call home.”
Applications for the second round of this program are being accepted until October 13, 2021. During the application filing window, eligible schools, libraries, and consortia of eligible schools and libraries, can submit requests for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. Those who applied for the first round and have additional unmet needs are eligible to reapply.
Eligible applicants should apply at http://www.emergencyconnectivityfund.org/.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.