Local Government Survey

Following on its 2016 Annual Survey on Broadband Adoption in California, CETF reached out to County, City and School District officials in October to better understand their views on broadband.  The survey found that 77% of California government official respondents view high-speed Internet as “very important to the future economic prosperity and quality of life in their jurisdiction.”

Among the 250-plus respondents to the survey, 60% were elected officials and 50% represented rural communities—areas where the California Public Utilities Commission estimated per an April 2016 report that only 43% of rural households have access to reliable broadband service. 

Other findings in the CETF 2016 Survey of Local Government Officials included:

  • 73% report broadband is very important to their jurisdictions’ small and large businesses
  • 53% report their low-income residents are not connected at home to broadband
  • 63% report broadband is a very important issue to residents
  • 57% report that schools are very able to provide computing devices and broadband in classrooms
  • 22% report that schools always allow students to take home computing devices to do homework
  • 65% report their jurisdiction would benefit greatly from telehealth-telemedicine technology and capabilities
  • 78% report broadband availability and speed are neither very high nor very low
  • 71% report their jurisdiction is fairly advanced in providing information and services online
  • 71% report their jurisdiction uses electronic communications quite often to reach residents
  • 55% report their workforce is prepared to use computing and Internet navigation skills to fill available jobs
  • 36% report that broadband is very adequate for public safety and emergency responses

Timothy Stearns, Mt. Shasta City Council Member (Siskiyou County), commented in the survey:  “The State should provide matching funds to enable rural California cities to provide to residents, businesses, healthcare providers, schools, libraries and public safety providers Internet speeds comparable to what is available in metropolitan cities throughout this nation.”

Judy Morris, Trinity County Board of Supervisors Member, commented in the survey:  “Please do not let rural California fall further behind in educational, health and economic development opportunities.”

Peter Lacques, Fairfax Town Council Member (Marin County), commented in the survey:  “We have a huge demand which our jurisdiction can’t fill due to capital costs.  We need a regional JPA to acquire and administer a fiber optic network for all our residents."

Alan Peterson, Merced Union High School District Superintendent (Merced County), commented in the survey:  “We need to provide Internet to all of our students so they can overcome social and geographical boundaries.”

Lee Adams, Sierra County Board of Supervisors Member, commented in the survey:  “Every home in California with electricity should have broadband.”