Rachel Rosenblum | June 5, 2017
The Assembly has passed a bill to help expand broadband internet infrastructure into rural communities in the North State.
Assembly Bill 1665, co-authored by local Assemblyman James Gallagher, will allocate $330 million and extend the California Advanced Services Fund for broadband deployment and adoption in rural and low-income urban areas that lack sufficient internet infrastructure, according to a press release from Gallagher’s office.
The bill, titled Internet for All Now Act of 2017, is headed to the Senate for further consideration.
“A lot of urban areas have been connected, but rural parts of California have been left behind,” Gallagher said in a phone interview Friday.
And the areas underserved or unserved reach expansively throughout his district, he said.
According to a map of Assembly District 3’s wireline service – provided by Gallagher’s office on behalf of the bill’s primary author, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella – most of Meridian is unserved; and areas of Colusa,
Yuba, Sutter, Butte, Glenn and Tehama counties are underserved or unserved.
“The digital divide is just not acceptable in the 21st century. Rural Californians deserve the same access and opportunity as those in urban areas,” Gallagher said in the press release. “AB 1665 will help improve public safety, economic competition, and educational opportunities in the North State and beyond.”