California legislature approves ‘historic’ broadband internet bill
California’s legislature has voted unanimously to approve a $6 billion plan to build a statewide open access fiber network (h/t ArsTechnica). The state will provide $3.25 billion to hire a third party to build and maintain a so-called “middle-mile” network, which won’t bring internet directly from backbone infrastructure to customers, but rather to connection points, leaving the last mile to be handled by internet service providers (ISPs). The legislation provides $2 billion for last-mile infrastructure lines to connect residences and businesses to local networks.
Making the middle-mile network open access will allow “non-discriminatory access to eligible entities on a technology and competitively neutral basis, regardless of whether the…