For years, California has tried and failed to close the digital divide — millions of Californians still lack high quality, affordable Internet service. The pandemic shed a bright light on the vast need for universal Internet connectivity, as we relied on broadband for distance learning, telehealth, telework, social interactions, and e-commerce. California is the home of Silicon Valley — we are the pioneers in innovation and technological advancement — and, frankly, it is an outright injustice that millions of Californians are priced out or shut out from accessing reliable, affordable broadband service.
Governor Newsom’s May Revision budget proposes to invest $6 billion to build out a broadband infrastructure that will deliver high-quality and high-speed internet service to all Californians. We thank the legislature for their investment of $3.75 billion to develop the ‘middle mile’ which would increase access to affordable broadband for all. We hope we can see this adopted prior to the Legislative recess so that communities can get connected to the resources they need as quickly as possible.