AB1588: The Affordable Internet and Net Equity Act of 2024 has passed out of the Assembly and now moves to the Senate and will be scheduled for hearings soon.
Affordable Internet and Net Equality Act
Almost 3 million households (2,803,589 as of January 1, 2024) of 5.8 million eligible households in California have been connected to the Internet through ACP—more families and individuals than in any other state. However, the existing federal funding of $14.2 billion for ACP allocated in the Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA) is projected by the Federal Communications Commission to run out in mid-2024. That would leave more than 3 million low-income households in California without affordable, quality Internet service without action from the Legislature and Governor. While bi-partisan efforts continue in Congress to reauthorize ACP, the State of California needs to have a backstop to the federal government and a back-up plan should there be a delay in Congressional action.
THE SOLUTION: AB1588
AB1588, The Affordable Internet and Net Equality Act of 2024, would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who are vendors to the State of California and public agencies funded by the State to offer their own affordable and quality Internet subscriptions. It also sets standardized eligibility and service standards for the ISP affordable offers.
WHY AB1588 MATTERS:
The Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law the Digital Equity Bill of Rights, which reaffirms the State’s commitment to ensuring that affordable, high-speed Internet service is available to all residents. The State of California has made significant progress on the programs related to construction of high-speed Internet infrastructure. The remaining big challenge is affordability.
We urge you to support AB1588 to ensure that all Californians will have access to quality affordable Internet service. It is time for the California Legislature to once again show the path forward for the nation to achieve Digital Equity for all residents.