Broadband budget update for California

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 156 that will expand the state’s broadband infrastructure and increase internet connectivity.

This $6 billion dollar measure focuses on building out and maintaining the “middle-mile” network, or high-capacity fiber lines that carry large amounts of data at higher speeds over longer distances between local networks. The middle-mile plan prioritizes upgrading the broadband capacity, access, and speeds to those residential areas that currently have download speeds of around 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps. All this to say — more connection points mean more capacity for connection, which ultimately means greater access to the internet for all Californians.

Here’s a breakdown of costs:

  • $3.25 billion to hire a third party entity to build and maintain the “middle-mile” network
  • $2 billion for “last-mile” infrastructure lines that will connect consumers’ homes and businesses with local networks
    • $1 billion allocated for rural communities, $1 billion allocated for urban communities
  • $750 million for a loan loss reserve fund to provide financing assistance to local governments and nonprofits

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