Social and Economic Equity for Californians in the Digital Age
Today, high-speed Internet (broadband) access is essential for homework, employment applications, job training, health services, and civic activities. Yet 31% Californians do not have high-speed Internet and a computer at home. Too many low-income, rural, and disabled Californians are disenfranchised from our Digital Economy because of cost and lack of access. (Source: 2017 Survey on Broadband Adoption in California, UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies)
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reports that 43% of rural households don't have access to broadband Internet. The CPUC also reports that there are approximately 424,000 unserved households to reach the Legislature’s goal of 98% deployment statewide. (Source: California Advanced Services 2016 Annual Report)
Internet For All Now Act AB 1665 -Enacted!
The Internet For All Now Act (AB 1665) became law in October, continuing California's role as a national trailblazer for Digital Inclusion. The Act marks a major accomplishment in aligning the priorities of the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Advanced Services Fund and community-based organizations to bridge the Digital Divide in California. We applaud Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia for stepping forward to author the bill and principal co-authors: Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Rob Bonta, Brian Dhale, Chris Holden, Kevin McCarty, James Gallagher, Evan Low, Miguel Santiago, Jim Wood and co-authors: Anna Caballero, David Chiu, Susan Eggman, Eloise Gómez Reyes, Mike Gipson, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Blanca Rubio, Tom Lackey, Devon Mathis, Jose Medina and Senator Tony Mendoza.
Passage of the Internet For All Now Act is imperative to close the Digital Divide now as a 21st Century Civil Right—“access delayed is access denied.”