About Broadband for All

Access to affordable and reliable broadband can transform the lives of all Californians. It is key to creating equity and impacts

  • Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Economic Development
  • Healthcare
  • Public Safety

The COVID-19 pandemic deepened California’s persistent digital divide. The digital divide is a lack of available broadband or issues related to lack of affordability, devices, or digital skills. Many Californians still don’t have the access they need for full-service healthcare, education, and employment.

California is committed to closing the digital divide. We’re connecting homes, schools, and businesses as quickly as possible to the internet.

Broadband for All is the state’s overarching program to close the digital divide and acknowledges that broadband access, adoption, and training are essential components of digital equity.

The Broadband for All Action Plan focuses on three main goals:

  1. Access to high-speed internet at homes, schools, and libraries
  2. Access to affordable internet services and devices
  3. Access to digital skills and training

The state’s open-access middle-mile network will connect regions of the state to the global internet. Last-mile infrastructure projects funded by CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) grants will bring service to people’s homes.

These projects use existing infrastructure where they can. This gets service to people as soon as possible. In many cases, communities will be able to work as planned with the California Public Utilities Commission. Where needed, the state will build new middle-mile capacity to shore up the network.

Broadband for All will give communities access to:

  • High-speed internet
  • Affordable service and devices
  • Training in digital skills
  • Jobs and contracts

The California Broadband Council 

The California Broadband Council was established by SB 1462 (Chapter 338, Statutes of 2010) to promote broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas of the state as defined by the Public Utilities Commission, and broadband adoption throughout the state. 

The Council identifies state resources, encourages public and private partnerships, and recommends strategic policy for providing world-class high-speed Internet access throughout California. The 12-member Council is run by the California Department of Technology’s Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy which provides support by managing the statewide ecosystem of individuals and organizations dedicated to closing the digital divide. 

Executive Order 

In August 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-73-20 to improve digital connectivity across the state. The order directed the Broadband Council to develop a statewide Broadband Action Plan and promote digital equity throughout California. 

The Broadband for All Action Plan 

Within four months of the Executive Order, the Broadband Council released the Action Plan. 

The Plan’s three long-term goals are that all Californians have:

  1. High-performance broadband available at home, schools, libraries, and businesses.
  2. Access to affordable broadband and necessary devices.
  3. Access to training and support to enable digital inclusion.

As a global leader in technology and innovation, we believe that equitable and affordable access to robust and reliable broadband is imperative for all Californians.

Read more in the Broadband for All Action Plan.

Track the progress of: 

SB 156 

In July 2021, Governor Newsom signed historic broadband legislation, SB 156 to accelerate the state’s commitment to bridging the digital divide by increasing equitable, affordable access to high-speed internet service across California

As part of the state’s 2021 Budget, SB 156 (Chapter 112, Statutes of 2021) allocated a $6 billion multi-year investment that will give more Californians access to broadband coverage.  

$3.25 billion of these funds were allocated to develop, acquire, construct, maintain and operate a statewide “open-access middle-mile” network which is overseen by the California Department of Technology and the Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy. 

The remaining $2.75 billion will go towards last-mile infrastructure grants, the establishment of a loan-loss recovery account, and technical assistance program overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission.  

Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act Broadband Programs 

The Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) sets forth a $65 billion investment into broadband, of which $48.2 billion will be administered by the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA).

  • Affordable Connectivity Program (Federal Communications Commission) 
  • Digital Equity Programs
    • Planning grants 
    • Capacity grants 
    • Competitive grants 
  • Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) 
  • Enabling Middle-Mile Infrastructure Program 
  • Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program 
  • ReConnect Program (USDA Rural Utility Service) 

These programs will provide critical funding for the Governor’s Broadband for All program. 

The California Department of Technology has been designated as the state’s Digital Equity Entity and will be developing the State’s Digital Equity Plan with funding from the NTIA.

The California Public Utilities Commission has been designated as the state’s entity to seek and administer funding from the BEAD program.

The Broadband for All portal

The Broadband Action Plan tasked the California Department of Technology with creating a Broadband for All portal to enable easy access to broadband information and tools. It is one of many ways California is enabling communities to develop and expand broadband connectivity. All Broadband for All initiatives can be tracked on this portal.