CPUC Invests In Increasing Broadband Access And Digital Literacy

California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) applauds the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investments to “increase broadband access and digital inclusion in low-income, disadvantaged communities, and other communities facing socioeconomic barriers to broadband adoption,” as stated in its announcement last week.  These investments reinforce the CPUC commitment to Broadband for All, an Executive Order (N-79-20) signed by Governor Newsom, and implemented by the California Broadband Council in its Action Plan, which acknowledges California as a global leader in technology and innovation and underscores the need for equitable and affordable broadband Internet access for all Californians.

At its December 2023 meeting, the CPUC approved $6.7 million in grant funding from the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Broadband Adoption Account, which will support 21 digital inclusion grants across the State.  Grant awardees will provide digital literacy training, broadband access, and broadband subscriptions to the most digitally-disadvantaged throughout California.

This grant program is a major decision by the CPUC to invest in the Get Connected Call Center, managed by CETF for the Get Connected! California mobilization to accelerate enrollment by low-income households in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) overseen by the California Department of Technology and California Broadband Council.  The Call Center is supported by community-based organizations across the state with Digital Navigators assisting residents in multiple languages enroll in ACP or other affordable Internet service plans offered by Internet Service Providers.  ACP is a $30 per month savings on home Internet for eligible households.  Additionally, the CPUC is investing in digital literacy, a critical component to achieving adoption of digital technology.  The CETF digital literacy program is a rigorous framework focused on outcomes and measuring skill development and proficiency.

“CETF congratulates all grant awardees who are entrusted by the CPUC with the awesome responsibility of moving California forward to close the Digital Divide through these   investments, which are essential components to broadband access, adoption and training needed to achieve Digital Equity in California.  CETF is honored to be among the CPUC partner organizations,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, CETF President and CEO.

For more information on the Affordable Connectivity Program visit:  https://www.internetforallnow.org/applytoday



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, and 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.  Through collaborative efforts with government, industry, and community partners, CETF works to create inclusive digital ecosystems that empower individuals and communities to thrive in the Digital Age.  For more information, please visit www.cetfund.org.

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