California moves on broadband while Ohio stalls out

California and Ohio are making broadband news. California has been approved for just under $900,000 in broadband planning funds for the next three years. Ohio’s broadband project is being held up by a lack of fiber. The hold up comes as the results of moves at the federal level to more strictly monitor and approve broadband work in an effort to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.

The Center for Economic Development (CED/CSU, Chico) and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) have been approved for a broadband project covering 11 of California’s northern counties. The $900,000 award comes in several small grant awards split between the counties.

The funding will be used to identify gaps in the existing broadband infrastructure in each consortium’s region. The project will also make available more robust last-mile service offerings to customers.

Beginning in January 2012, CED/CSU, Chico, will begin work on assembling stakeholders and designing deployment plans. The funding will go for a three year planning period to finalize designs, requirements and get the projects underway.

In Ohio, where work is already underway, contractors are faced with a four to six month delay as suppliers have been unable to fulfill fiber cable orders at a rate that meets current demand. Fiber orders have increased nearly 30% according to local suppliers which is creating a backlog as suppliers scramble to fill orders.

Federal broadband officials claim that the problem is not widespread although CivSource reported earlier this year that West Virginia was also having difficulties sourcing enough fiber.

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