Closing the Digital Divide Is Imperative for California

Imagine if you were not able to communicate instantaneously with others using your smart phone, digital tablet, or computer. That is the case for more than 9 million Californians who live in remote rural communities, on tribal lands, in low-income neighborhoods, or who have a disability. Those of us who have the benefit of high- speed connections to the Internet—referred to as “broadband”— have come to depend on this connectivity for our work, staying in touch with family and friends, and making our daily lives easier.

Broadband is essential 21st Century infrastructure for economic prosperity and quality of life. It is a key factor in attracting capital investment to generate jobs. Communities without broadband access to the Internet are in danger of being left behind in the Digital Age— remote rural communities, poor urban neighborhoods, and people with disabilities are even more disadvantaged without broadband— an added challenge for California to retain global competitiveness. Closing the Digital Divide with ubiquitous broadband deployment and public policies to increase broadband adoption is imperative to the future of the Golden State. New Public Policy and Additional Resources are Needed.