Access to the Internet is essential for education, healthcare, workforce and economic development, essential services, and civic participation. As we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, Californians’ ability to access and use broadband internet is the difference between being able to fully engage in today’s digital economy and being cut off.[1] 

Yet there is a persistent digital divide in California. One in five residents lacks access to reliable, high-speed broadband, affordable internet service and devices, and the training and skills to use them.[2]

Broadband for All is the Newsom Administration’s comprehensive, multi-billion-dollar program to close the digital divide. It reflects the work of the California Broadband Council and its members, Executive Order N-73-20, the Broadband for All Action Plan (2020), the historic Broadband for All Act (SB 156, 2021), and a statewide mobilization effort to address affordability and increase broadband adoption rates by promoting the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

While California has made great strides in advancing Broadband for All, given the vastness of the State – 167,000 square miles and nearly 40 million residents – more effort and investment is required to achieve the program’s goals. 

The State has actively leveraged all available funding sources to achieve Broadband for All by participating in the federal Internet for All broadband programs included in the Biden Administration’s Investment Infrastructure and Jobs Act, including the Digital Equity Act (DEA) and the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. As directed by Governor Newsom and the California Legislature in Assembly Bill 2750, the California Department of Technology (CDT) sought federal funding to develop this digital equity plan in consultation with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Broadband Council (CBC).

CDT developed this Digital Equity Plan in close coordination with the CPUC, the State’s administering entity for the BEAD program, and with input from over 50,000 residents and stakeholders through four statewide planning group meetings, 24 outcome area working groups meetings, three statewide surveys, 20 in-person planning workshops and tribal consultations, and numerous meetings and listening sessions. The State’s Digital Equity Plan and the BEAD Five-Year Action Plan represent the next chapters in the evolution of the State’s Broadband for All program.


[1], Accessed September 18, 2023