Broadband for All, Digital Equity Together

A message from Deputy Director of Broadband and Digital Literacy Scott Adams

March 13, 2023 – Partner with us to develop the State’s Digital Equity plan and have a say in how future federal dollars are allocated to close the digital divide.

Access to broadband and internet in today’s technology-dependent world is the difference between being fully engaged and being cut off.

Despite being a technology and innovation leader, California has a persistent digital divide where millions lack adequate broadband service or the devices and skills to use it. Sadly, this leads to disparate outcomes and perpetuates inequities that impact the most vulnerable among us.

Broadband for All is the state’s overarching program to close the digital divide and ensure that all Californians have access to high-performance broadband at home, schools, libraries, and businesses, in addition to affordable broadband, devices, skills, and training to access government services and realize other social and economic benefits.

Thus far, the State has invested billions of dollars to achieve Broadband for All to develop a 10,000-mile open access middle-mile fiber-optic network to improve broadband access, and allocated billions more to support last-mile grant programs to support broadband infrastructure expansion in unserved or underserved areas. Additionally, members of the California Broadband Council are implementing a coordinated effort to promote enrollment of the Affordable Connectivity Program that provides subsidies to residents to drive down the cost of home internet service.

Despite these investments and efforts, federal funding and support is needed to achieve Broadband for All.

Here’s where your participation and partnership are needed most!

Over the next eight months, California will be leveraging a federal planning grant to develop a state Digital Equity Plan. We are asking individuals, groups, and organizations to partner with us to develop this plan, which will identify digital equity barriers for the state’s covered populations and develop digital equity strategies to empower outcomes in education, health, workforce and economic development, and essential services and civic participation. When completed, the plan will deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to California and ensure our residents have affordable, high-speed internet access, as well as the skills and tools needed to participate in the digital economy.

To participate in the process, get involved in a working group meeting, attend a local engagement event, or register here on the partner involvement page. Your participation is crucial to the success of California’s efforts to address the digital divide.