The California Department of Technology, in partnership with other entities, opened a new online portal and is holding a series of Broadband for All Roundtable gatherings to provide information and updates on the state’s efforts to expand broadband access.
Two roundtable gatherings will be held this month, including May 12 at 1 p.m. for schools, libraries and community-based organizations, and May 19 at 9:30 a.m. for tribal communities. Information and registration links can be found here.
During the roundtables, information will be provided by the Department of Technology, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Emerging Technology Fund, and California Public Utilities Commission. The first roundtable in the series was held April 28 for cities, counties, regional broadband consortia and metropolitan planning organizations.
The new portal features information on progress being made through the state’s Broadband for All Action Plan and the $6 billion in historic middle-mile and last-mile investments approved last year by state legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom. In addition, the portal provides information about affordable service opportunities, including the federal Affordability Connectivity Program and access to an online tool that enables searching by zip code for low-cost home internet service offers. The site also provides information about testing home internet speeds. Local government, community leaders, internet providers and the public are invited to make use of these resources.
Achieving adequate funding for expanding broadband and supporting the state’s Regional Broadband Consortia have been key priorities for CA FWD and the California Economic Summit’s Broadband For All Work Group. During a convening earlier this year, stakeholders identified critical priorities as the state rolls out new infrastructure and programs, including the need for cross-sector partnerships, technical assistance for local communities, streamlining project approvals, and helping residents to access affordable services.
Achieving broadband equity across the state will continue to be a critical area of focus during the next California Economic Summit, which will be held in Bakersfield October 27-28.