The Davis Enterprise
A $330 million bill package to expand broadband access and digital literacy in communities deprived of a reliable internet connection is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after being approved by the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses.
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, is one of the co-authors of AB 1665.
Several past efforts to increase funding to close the connectivity gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” known as the “digital divide,” were intensely opposed by the largest telecommunications and cable companies, Aguiar-Curry said.
After a three-year stalemate, this bill represents a cooperative effort between legislators of both houses and both parties, consumer advocates, and representatives from the telecommunications and cable industries to invest in broadband access and rural development.
“After years of failed efforts, I am proud that our group was finally able to break through,” Aguiar-Curry said. “I’ve been working on this issue as a local official for over a decade. I’ve watched families get their first email address, and farmworkers finally able to talk to their kids’ teachers despite their long work hours. I’ve witnessed how internet access can transform a community.
“AB 1665 will transform communities across California.”