Overview

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The Progress Section contains information about the accomplishments of the California Emerging Technology Fund specifically and the progress being made generally to close the Digital Divide and ensure that California becomes a global leader in the deployment and adoption of broadband technology. It provides information about both "supply" (deployment of the infrastructure) and "demand" (use of the technology and subscription to service) metrics set forth in the Strategic Action Plan (PDF, 1.18 MB). It provides a summary of the Annual Survey of Californians to track trends in adoption being conducted in partnership with the Public Policy Institute of California with financial support from ZeroDivide.

The mission of the California Emerging Technology Fund is to provide leadership statewide to minimize the Digital Divide by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband and other advanced communications services to underserved communities and populations.

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.

Framework for Evaluating Progress

In order to determine progress towards accomplishing the mission, it will be essential to regularly measure quantitatively outcomes statewide for both: (a) the "supply side" of the Digital Divide-the progress in deployment of broadband technology; and (b) the "demand side" of the Digital Divide-the progress in increasing access to and use of the technology by Californians. There will need to be a process and methodology that tracks this progress and publishes the results in an Annual Report that can be used by policy makers and the public to continue to drive policy and investments.

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Summary of Progress - May 2008

Established organization and launched operations.

  • Incorporated organization, adopted bylaws and secured 501(c)(3) status from IRS.
  • Adopted key policies on ethics and administrative procedures.
  • Established banking accounts and received initial seed capital contributions ($24 million).
  • Obtained essential insurance coverage and policies.
  • Developed job descriptions, recruited and hired personnel, and established retirement plan.
  • Secured offices in Northern and Southern California (saving $90,000 per year).
  • Adopted operating budgets and expenditure policies, ending fiscal year below budget.
  • Managed cash flow and interest generation to begin new fiscal year with whole principle.
  • Developed and launched first-stage Website.
  • Established Board of Directors meeting schedule and appointed Committees.

Conducted fact-finding throughout California.

  • Identified key stakeholders and initiated widespread outreach to community organizations, foundations, industry and government agencies, laying the foundation for future partnerships.
  • Developed process for gathering information and posting community organizations profiles.
  • Conducted Fact Finding Conversations in several regions and published summaries:
    • Bay Area
    • Los Angeles
    • San Diego
    • Redwood Coast
    • Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
    • Orange County
    • Inland Empire
    • Native Americans
    • Southeast Communities in Los Angeles County
  • Convened Roundtables on housing, workforce preparation and economic development.

Developed and adopted a Strategic Action Plan.

  • Adopted focus priorities for consumer communities and leading strategies based on research:

- Rural and Remote Areas

- Urban Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

- People with Disabilities

  • Identified successful models and best practices based on Fact Finding.
  • Adopted a goal of leveraging seed capital four-fold.
  • Developed and adopted metrics for tracking supply (deployment) and demand (adoption).
  • Explored options to joint venture with other organizations in tracking metrics for annual report.
  • Conducted peer review by stakeholders with the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy and incorporated feedback into final version.

Initiated grantmaking and approved strategic investments.

  • Committed $3.6 million in match funding for the California Rural Telemedicine Proposal to the FCC and helped facilitate consensus for developing a comprehensive statewide telemedicine system to connect more than 300 rural clinics and hospitals to medical centers. As a result, the FCC awarded $22 million to California.
  • Launched an open "Request for Proposals" grantmaking process as well as invited Investment Proposals aligned with the Strategic Action Plan. Developed the templates and institutionalized the business discipline for Investment Proposals, Investment Prospectuses and Grant Agreements, including incorporating a major focus on accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • Approved $15 million to date in major grants with significant match and leverage, including:

- Humboldt State University for the Redwood Coast Rural Action (involving 4 counties) to prototype aggregation of demand in rural regions (now called Redwood Coast Connect).

- 5 additional Rural Regional Consortia (including 23 counties) to aggregate demand.

- One Economy Corporation for statewide "smart housing" strategy.

- CD Tech for workforce preparation for a regional economic development initiative.

- Center for Accessible Technology for website accessibility training and technical assistance.

- UC Merced for development of telemedicine network in the San Joaquin Valley (8 counties).

- CompuMentor for statewide computer refurbishing enterprise network.

- California State University for statewide Accessibility Initiative.

- World Institute on Disability and Alliance for Technology Access to assist grantees with incorporating accessibility into their projects and to develop a revolving loan program.

- Street Tech, OCCUR, Goodwill, and Mission Language and Vocational School for EmpowerNet California Technology Collaborative for statewide workforce training network.

- Small Business Consortia, including California Black Chamber of Commerce, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce and Asian Business Association in Los Angeles to assist small business adopt broadband.

- The ACME Network, Long Beach YMCA, Community Christian College, Venice Arts, Youth Policy Institute, Little Tokyo Service Center, Oakland Technology Exchange, Centro Latino de Educacion Popular, San Diego Futures Foundation, El Concilio of San Mateo, and City of Firebaugh to assist youth and families adopt broadband and information technology.

Established CETF as a credible voice on broadband and a valued partner.

  • Served on the California Broadband Task Force and assisted in completing work products, including mapping of broadband availability throughout the state.
  • Advocated in key public forums for the deployment of broadband in conjunction with the construction of major infrastructure projects - fostering a major policy breakthrough.
  • Established working partnerships local governments and other foundations.
  • Provided briefings to key policymakers and industry leaders.
  • Sponsored a Wireless Comparative Analysis and Public Education Project with Community Partners, California Community Technology Policy Group and Broadband Institute of California.
  • Developed a joint venture with the Public Policy Institute of California to conduct an Annual Survey of broadband use statewide for the next five years to track progress.
  • Launched an ICT Digital Literacy Initiative, commended by Governor Schwarzenegger, to promote a digital literacy policy, standardized assessment and accepted curricula for California.
  • Initiated planning and organizing with The Children’s Partnership to put a computer in the homes of all low-income students in low-performing middle schools in California.
  • Partnered with Center for a New Orange County to develop model policies and ordinances.
  • Established a Board of Expert Advisors to help guide grant investments.
  • Increased the awareness among public officials about the importance of California being a global leader in the deployment and adoption of broadband technology.