October 27, 2022 – The California Department of Technology’s (CDT) Broadband Update provides the latest information on the implementation of the State’s Broadband Action Plan, Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI), and other digital equity and inclusion activities which are collectively known as Broadband for All.
Broadband for All Summit and Digital Equity and BEAD Planning Kickoff Recap
The California Department of Technology, California Public Utilities Commission, Governor’s Office of Tribal Affairs held the first Fall Broadband for All Summit and State Digital Equity Planning (SDEP) and Broadband, Equity, Access. and Deployment (BEAD) Planning Kickoff on Oct. 24.
Nearly 800 partners and stakeholders from across California’s broadband ecosystem registered for the event which featured a panel of leaders driving the state’s Broadband for All and Equity Initiatives, a progress report on Broadband for All initiatives, and a Digital Equity and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment planning Kickoff. The summit recording, presentation slides, and transcripts can be accessed on the Broadband for All Portal.
Please take a moment to tell us how you and your organization would like to participate in the development of the State’s Digital Equity Plan by going to the State Digital Equity Planning process page on the Broadband for All portal.
Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative Update
Significant progress on the state’s Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative was presented at the October Middle-Mile Advisory Committee meeting. The full recording, presentation, and transcripts are available on the MMBI website. Following are highlights:
- Oct. 11 – release of an RFI2 solicitation for pricing of alternatives
- Oct. 13 – Government Operations Secretary Amy Tong, Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin, Infrastructure Advisor to the Governor Antonio Villaraigosa, Assemblymember Jim Wood, Senator Brian Jones, as well as department heads and stakeholders kicked off construction of the middle-mile network.
- Oct. 14 – release of Job Order Contracts for construction of more than half the system
- Oct. 18-19 – Secretary of Government Operations Amy Tong, Deputy Director Mark Monroe and other state officials visited Assemblymember Jim Wood’s district to explore middle-mile opportunities in northern California.
- Caltrans reported that 77 percent of preconstruction is now in process statewide, up from 73 percent in Sept. 2022.
The final MMAC meeting of 2022 takes place on November 18.
Last Mile CPUC Programs
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) manages the state’s broadband deployment, technical assistance, affordability, and digital equity grant programs, licenses and regulates providers, promotes digital equity, and analyzes the impact of the digital divide in the state.
Subscribe to last-mile policy and program specific updates here.
Broadband Infrastructure Grants
Federal Funding Account
The $2 billion Federal Funding Account is administered by the CPUC to grant funds to public and private entities to build last-mile infrastructure for Californians without access to high-speed broadband service.
The CPUC is preparing for publication priority areas for funding, which are a subset of the eligible unserved areas. Proposed funding areas and digital equity information will be shown on a public map, and potential applicants can register to access more detailed information.
Additional resource links (fact sheet, dashboard, recording of webinar, presentations, and reports) may be found here.
Broadband Adoption and Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP) Update
State and local entities are working closely to increase affordability and adoption of home internet service by promoting existing low-cost internet plans and the federal Affordable Connectivity Program that provides a monthly benefit to resident to lower the cost of home internet service.
The Department of Technology, the California Emerging Technology Fund, Everyone On, and California State University at Chico, have developed the following tools to support individuals and organization apply for these program, conduct outreach, and track enrollment :
- Affordable service programs | Broadband for All (ca.gov)
- Affordable connectivity program | Broadband for All (ca.gov)
- ACP enrollment tracker | Broadband for All (ca.gov)
As a result of these efforts, California leads the nation in household connections for the Affordable Connectivity program. As of October 17, 2022, more than 1.7 million California households have enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Plan.