Policy Tracker

Broadband Access

Status:

Broadband access has been a long standing priority for regions for many years.  While its often thought of as a rural issue, the recent pandemic has daylight gaps in urban areas as well.  Governor Newsom recently elevated the issue by setting a statewide access goal.  Here we have collected a number of resources that might help our members and others get “up to speed” on the issue.  As always, we encourage anyone to recommend a document or resource that should be included in this list.  Thank you for visiting.

Recommend a Resource
Overview:

Executive Order

Executive Order setting a minimum broadband access standard goal (100 Mbps download speed ), ordering a broadband action plan, to minimum broadband Access, expand mapping resources, leverage funding resources, and use state resources to deploy broadband infrastructure.

Broadband Action Plan (Due: Dec 31, 2020)

Regions at Work:

Regional Activities

South Bay Cities Council of Governments:         Ring of Fiber Improves Broadband (delivering super fast “dark fiber” to every member city at low monthly costs)

Case Study: Valley Vision – Sacramento Area
Valley Vision–a member of California Forward’s Stewardship Network–has been a leader in the state on the broadband issues. The following is a set of resources they have developed for the Sacramento Region.

Resources:

Broadband Access: General Resources, Policies, & Primers

California Resources

Roads, Rights-of-Way, and Dig Once Policies

Funding Programs

  • California Advanced Service Fund. CASF provides $100 million in grants to “telephone corporations” to expand broadband into unserved areas. Monies for the Fund are collected via a 0.25% all-end-user-surcharge on telecommunications customers’ bills.
  • California Teleconnect Fund CTF supports the provision of infrastructure for digital divide projects via a 50% discount on monthly recurring charges for high-speed telecommunications services incurred by schools, libraries, hospitals and health clinics that are owned and operated by a municipal or county government, a hospital district, or a community based organization.
  • USDA Reconnect Program.  The Broadband ReConnect Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. The application window for the second round of funding closed on April 15, 2020. (See also:  Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture).
Last Updated:10/30/2020
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