Governor Jerry Brown
Attn: Tom Dyer
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Please initiate an investigation and VETO SB649

Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

I would like to bring to your attention a concern that I have and hope that you and your staff will cause it to be investigated by the properly enforcing entity; it relates to California Senate Bill 649; This is more reason to VETO SB 649!

A brief history of California broadband

In 1993 the “California First” plan was based on spending $16 billion to rewire the state with fiber optics cable “…replacing the old, in use, copper wiring”.

The cost to bring fiber optics to residential phone customers/ratepayers was estimated at that time to be about $1,000 per household. Is was stated that this money would be “…covered by telephone rates” paid by us the customer. These telephone rates increased 138% from 2008 to 2016, with ancillary services, such as caller ID and Call Waiting increasing 60% to 525%!

The promise in 1993 was to provide broadband services to more than 1.5 million homes by the end of 1996, 5 million homes by the end of the decade.” This was to facilitate “telemedicine” “learning and education” TV, “multi-media” to name a few.

The promise was also made for schools, community colleges and libraries to have computer and video networks. They predicted by the year 2,000 every classroom will be wired to handle voice, data and video telecommunications.

Please review the Huffington Post article of August 23, 2017, titled “Californians Paid Billions Extra: The State Assembly Should Investigate AT&T’s Cross-Subsidies”.

Also, for your information this Huffington Post article has an important link, explaining California Broadband History.

Further, the Huffington Post article states in 1993, [t]he new plan…is to just shut off the copper wires and force-march customers onto wireless, where, conveniently, the same company controls the wires that are used to the wireless networks, which were built, in large part, paid for by these customers.”

This first Huffington Post article concluded that what is really needed are investigations and audits of AT&T’s financial books, NOW.

As there is an investigation of Verizon New York by the NY State Public Service Commission that corroborated the Huffington Post findings; that there are massive financial cross-subsidies between and among the wireline state utility and all of the other Verizon affiliates, including the wireless company. AT&T California appears to be doing the same financial dishonesty.

The second article written by the Huffington Post is titled “Expose: AT&T California Fiber Optic Scandal: Billions Charged for Broadband that Never Showed Up.”

This article states that, “[v]irtually no one knows the history of fiber optic broadband in America, much less what happened in their state, even though they were charged thousands of dollars per household. Instead, in 2017, we get embarrassing proposed laws, such as SB-649 in California, which claims that if the State just frees the companies from regulations, they will deliver new, ‘fabulous’, broadband wireless services. These are tied to other bills and new proposed regulations, including current FCC proceedings to ‘shut off the copper’ and replace it with wireless. It is time for investigations, not new gifts to AT&T et al.” (Emphasis Added)

Public Safety

The citizens of California have a right to be safe. I ask that you in your official capacity please do everything possible to institute safety measures that are safe for the public.

The citizens have a right to safe, secure, reliable, extremely high speed, highest capacity, most reliable and energy efficient internet. Fiber optic broadband delivers all these.

Fiber optic broadband is secure, unlike wireless – which should not be trusted with proprietary or confidential information because it broadcasts it everywhere, making hacking easy.

Favorable hacking conditions are not safe for economic development, such as confidential communications with a professional, as your health care provider, probate and estate lawyer, financial transactions, online banking, emails, personal documents, and pictures to name a few. Not to mention the severe breach of personal Equifax credit information harming possibly 143 million of people.

Safe, secure, and reliable fiber optic broadband is necessary for economic development as the fiber optic broadband signals are contained within a fiber optic cable – making hacking a difficult physical process.

As an California Citizen and constituent, I respectfully request that our State and local officials do everything in their power and control to ensure this safety for the businesses and Citizens’ of the State of California. True economic development cannot occur when vital economic information is not protected.

I respectfully request that answers to the below Huffington Post conclusions be sought by all government public officers that hold a position of authority or service involving responsibility to the public.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is now doling out money to these same Telecommunication Corporations to offer wireless broadband calling the plan “Connect America Fund (CAF)”, currently at Phase II; offered by AT&T in Amador County.

Summary of Facts

The fiberoptic deployment that has been paid for by landline customers was never completely installed.

“Connect America Fund (CAF)” a plan to provide wireless broadband, is again funded by you and me with our tax dollars.

The proposed 5G actions taken by the Telecommunication Corporations will be at another charge to the customers, while eroding local control.

Please forward this information for an investigation by the appropriate authority for enforcement and action.

Governor Jerry Brown please VETO California SB 649.

Thank you for your attention in this extremely time sensitive matter.

Laura Allred

P.S. Here are the Huffington Post Conclusions:

The Huffington Post has some conclusions that they request that the State Assembly should be factually answering.

  • How much money did customers pay AT&T for the upgrades of the wired networks to fiber optics – that never happened?
  • How much money did customers pay so that AT&T could cross-subsidize the wired utility budgets to build the cell sites for the wireless company?
  • If there is competition today, how did basic local service have continuous increases of 138% in basic rates from 2008 to 2016?
  • Why has the California State Assembly not investigated the cross-subsidies, the failure to deliver fiber optic broadband and charge local phone customers major rate increases of the wired state utility copper-based wires?
  • Why has State not stepped in to clean up this mess?
  • Is Local Service profitable when the expenses that are being incurred to offer the service are examined?
  • Have customers been overcharged fees built into rates for ‘incentives’ to build out network upgrades?
  • Were there any refunds, penalties, lowering of rates, etc., when the networks were not upgraded?
  • How much of the 5G deployments will be indirectly charged to the wireline networks and local phone customers?