NextGen Policy Celebrates California’s Historic $6 Billion Dollar Investment in Closing the Digital Divide, Making California a Leader in Prioritizing Public Broadband
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Newsom signed SB 156 – a $6 billion dollar broadband infrastructure budget trailer bill that provides a historic level of funding that will help close the digital divide by expanding access to high-quality internet connectivity across the state.
“California has fallen woefully behind when it comes to ensuring universal broadband connectivity, leaving those most in need — families and small businesses as well as certain rural, urban and tribal communities without reliable Internet service. The pandemic proved what we have known for decades — we can no longer afford to have any Californian remain disconnected from essential services like telehealth, distance learning, job training, e-commerce, emergency response and countless other critical resources,” said Arnold Sowell Jr., Executive Director of NextGen Policy. We want to thank the Legislature and Governor for this bold and historic investment. We look forward to the work ahead and are committed to ensuring that all communities in our state get connected to high quality, affordable Internet service.”
NextGen Policy was honored to support the Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery and is proud to see its recommendations made to bridge the digital divide included in the state’s broadband plan. With investments of $3.25 billion focusing on middle-mile and $2 billion allocated to last-mile infrastructure, this plan will help ensure access to high-quality broadband in rural and urban areas. Universal broadband connectivity will have a transformative impact on our families, communities and small businesses as our state continues to recover from the pandemic and begins to remedy long-standing inequities in digital access.
The mission of NextGen Policy and NextGen California is to fight for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, and economic inequities in California through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.