Fiber Optics on a Hand

Provide leadership statewide to close the "Digital Divide" by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband to unserved and underserved communities and populations.

Ensure that California is a global leader in the availability and use of broadband technology.

This will be accomplished by making investments in programs and projects to improve access, affordability, applications, accessibility and assistance to broadband—the “5As” of the Digital Divide.

Initial Priority Focus

  1. Rural communities that lack the broadband infrastructure.
  2. Urban poor and disadvantaged communities that lack the computers and affordable connections to the Internet with relevant applications.
  3. Disabled populations that lack technology accessibility (which will be addressed in part by promoting universal design of all technology to be accessible and integrating accessibility into all efforts).

Basic Strategy

  • Compile conclusions about best practices from research and results of pilot projects and demonstration programs. Consult the most knowledgeable experts and stakeholders.
  • Identify and invest in strategic opportunities (based on sound research and proven track records) to achieve the highest impacts in eliminating the Digital Divide.
  • Seek out projects that will achieve the strategic goals, not just be a responsive grant maker.
  • Make initial investments in mid-2007.
  • Hold funded programs and projects accountable for performance and outcomes. Publish regular progress reports.
  • Measure the progress quantitatively in terms of status of the Digital Divide statewide and for priority communities and populations. Publish an annual report.
  • Establish and institutionalize partnerships with civic leadership and community-based organizations. Develop regional strategies and collaboratives for bridging the Digital Divide.
  • Establish a presence throughout California through “affiliations” with key institutions. There will be principal offices in at least the Bay Area and Southern California.
  • Continue to encourage and monitor research to ensure efforts are directed at the most critical factors to bridge the Digital Divide.
  • Leverage the initial seed $60 million by at least 4-fold to achieve impact of about $250 million through partnerships and co-investments with private sector, government and foundations.