November 2022 Broadband Update

November 28, 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.

Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative Update

Significant progress on the state’s Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative was presented at the November Middle-Mile Advisory Committee meeting, which was the final meeting for 2022. The full recording, presentation, and transcripts are available on the MMBI website.

Small Business and DVBE Outreach Webinar | November 29
Caltrans and the California Department of Technology are hosting a second virtual outreach and engagement session for contract opportunities on the Middle-Mile Broadband Network.

The session will take place on Tuesday, November 29 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. PST. Please join us!

Registration Link

RFI2 Procurement Outreach Webinar | December 1
Please join CDT’s outreach webinar to discuss the advertised Request for Innovative Ideas (RFI2) for the Middle-Mile Broadband initiative on Thursday, December 1 at 9:30am PST. The RFI2 seeks innovative and sustainable solutions for joint builds, conduit and fiber leases, and co-location to address the problem statement outlined in the solicitation. We hope to see you there!

Solicitation Details

Registration Link

CPUC Last Mile Efforts

The CPUC continues to accept applications for broadband grants for local agency technical assistance. Through SB 156, the CPUC established a grant program that facilitates last-mile broadband infrastructure planning for counties, cities, sovereign tribal governments, community service districts, municipal utilities districts, school districts, electrical cooperatives, and Joint Powers Authorities. The grants cover pre-construction deliverables, such as environmental permits, engineering studies, and strategic plans.

Since the application window opened in August, the CPUC has received over 82 applications and approved 52 totaling $23.8 million.

FCC Publishes Draft Broadband Map; Sets Challenge Process Timeline

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its pre-production draft map of broadband availability. State, territory, and local governments, service providers, and other entities can submit challenges to the broadband availability data to help improve the maps.

The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) is required by law to allocate Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds according to a formula derived from the map data. NTIA is encouraging states and municipalities to submit challenges by January 13, 2023, so that corrections can be incorporated into the final version of the map that will be used to allocate BEAD program funding by June 30, 2023.

For further information, please see the press release and the draft map.

On November 30 at 4:00 pm ET, the FCC will be hosting a Broadband Data Collection Bulk Fixed Challenge Technical Assistance Workshop. This will assist entities in preparing to file bulk challenges to fixed broadband availability data presented in the new National Broadband Map. To participate in the workshop please register.

Additionally, the FCC has released two videos to assist with fixed availability challenges. The first video provides an overview of the fixed bulk availability challenge process. The second walks filers through the process of submitting bulk fixed availability challenge data in the BDC system.

California Stakeholder FCC Broadband Mapping Challenge Webinar | December 2

To support California stakeholders interested the FCC broadband mapping challenge process, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Department of Technology are hosting an informational webinar on Friday, December 2, 2:30 – 3:30pm PST.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend. Please register 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 residents 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:

As a result of these efforts, California leads the nation in household connections for the Affordable Connectivity program. As of November 21, 2022, 1,797,666 California households have enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Plan.