18 min

E26: Closing the Digital Divide: California's Broadband For All Initiative in Gov Tech Today Gov Tech Today

    • Government

In this edition of GovTech Today, hosts Russell Lowery and Jennifer Saha discuss the importance of broadband access for all Californians, emphasizing the state's efforts to bridge the digital divide. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the necessity of reliable internet access as students had to rely on broadband to attend school remotely, highlighting inequities in access. The state of California has initiated a large-scale effort, involving significant investments from both federal and state levels, to ensure every Californian has access to broadband. This initiative, spearheaded by the state's Department of Technology, Public Utilities Commission, and Department of Transportation, aims to make broadband accessible even in rural or economically disadvantaged areas by leveraging public infrastructure and funding to make it viable for private carriers to extend their services. The program also considers the role of the federal government and the complexities of implementing such infrastructure, including regulatory and equity issues. The initiative is in progress, with planning and grants for the 'middle mile' already under way, and efforts to address the 'last mile' to ensure comprehensive coverage.

In this edition of GovTech Today, hosts Russell Lowery and Jennifer Saha discuss the importance of broadband access for all Californians, emphasizing the state's efforts to bridge the digital divide. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the necessity of reliable internet access as students had to rely on broadband to attend school remotely, highlighting inequities in access. The state of California has initiated a large-scale effort, involving significant investments from both federal and state levels, to ensure every Californian has access to broadband. This initiative, spearheaded by the state's Department of Technology, Public Utilities Commission, and Department of Transportation, aims to make broadband accessible even in rural or economically disadvantaged areas by leveraging public infrastructure and funding to make it viable for private carriers to extend their services. The program also considers the role of the federal government and the complexities of implementing such infrastructure, including regulatory and equity issues. The initiative is in progress, with planning and grants for the 'middle mile' already under way, and efforts to address the 'last mile' to ensure comprehensive coverage.

18 min

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