Governor Newsom signs legislation to expand Internet for All and help Californians achieve Digital Equity
Los Angeles and Bay Area — The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) applauds Governor Newsom and state Legislative leaders for making historic investments in broadband infrastructure to help expand Internet access to the state’s most vulnerable communities.
“The California Emerging Technology Fund applauds the Governor for signing SB4, AB14, and AB 537 to enact the Legislature’s bold action in passing these bills. These bills are a capstone on a year of historic investments in broadband infrastructure,” said CETF President and CEO Sunne Wright McPeak. She added, “This legislation also provides vital resources so that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) can allocate funds for helping low-income households get online.”
The state Legislature has approved and Governor. Newsom has signed:
- $6 billion in broadband infrastructure investments to include a public open-access middle-mile network and last-mile investments.
- Companion bills, SB 4 introduced by State Senator Lena Gonzalez and AB 14 by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, to extend the existing surcharge on intrastate telecommunications services to support the California Advanced Services Fund. The legislation authorizes the collection of up to $150 million per year from between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2032, to advance deployment and adoption of broadband services for unserved and underserved Californians by funding such critical components as The Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account; the Infrastructure Grant Account; the Broadband Public Housing Account; the Broadband Adoption Account; and the Federal Funding Account.
- AB 537 introduced by Assemblymember Bill Quirk, to help fast-track the deployment of broadband in California by streamlining local approval processes and establishing best practices surrounding Internet infrastructure projects.
McPeak thanked the Governor and Legislature for their leadership in moving California closer to achieving Digital Equity. She noted that Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Miguel Santiago, in addition to bill authors mentioned above, are among the Legislators making key contributions to this year’s progress.
“This leadership on broadband says ‘YES’ to a better future for all Californians. CETF welcomes the opportunity to work with the Governor’s Administration and Legislators to help achieve Digital Equity,” McPeak said.
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Contact: Nadine Hugg, firstname.lastname@example.org
About California Emerging Technology Fund
CETF is a statewide non-profit foundation with the mission to close the Digital Divide in California. CETF provides grants to non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) to assist low-income households adopt broadband and become digitally proficient, leads and manages School2Home to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning with deep parent engagement to close the Achievement Gap in middle schools in low-income neighborhoods, and promotes Digital Inclusion in public policy to achieve Digital Equity.