CSAC Bulletin Article

Broadband Council Holds Meeting to Discuss Bridging the Digital Divide

September 24, 2020

The California Broadband Council began development of the state Broadband Action Plan this week. The Action Plan is required by Executive Order N-73-20, which Governor Newsom signed in August. The order directs the Broadband Council to work with a number of stakeholders and state agencies to develop a “roadmap to accelerate the deployment and adoption” of broadband by December 31, 2020. The plan will be reviewed annually thereafter, and must incorporate the Governor’s goal of pursuing a minimum broadband speed of 100 megabits per second download speed.

At yesterday’s meeting the Council reviewed and approved a draft document outlining which agencies will lead the liaising with specified stakeholder groups. Discussions with local governments, including counties, will be led by the California State Transportation Agency and the California Department of Transportation. In addition, the Council discussed a number of high level guiding principles and philosophies for the action plan. One topics that garnered particular interest was a discussion of how to address true digital equity, which includes more than just broadband speeds, but also access to internet-capable devices, as well as technology literacy.

The Council will be holding three more meetings to discuss the plan on October 23, November 18, and December 9. In addition, there will be a series of smaller more focused listening sessions (schedules below). Public comment can be submitted verbally by attending the Council meetings, by submitting written comments to CABroadbandCouncil@state.ca.gov, or by attending a listening session.

Listening Sessions

Broadband Communities Focus hosted by California Forward

            September 29 9:30am-11:00am via Go To Webinar
            October 29 9:30am-11:00am via Go To Webinar

Local Governments Focus hosted by the California Transportation Agency

            October 1 10:00am-11:00am via Zoom
            October 29 1:00-2:00pm via Zoom

Internet Service Providers Focus

            October 1 3:00pm-4:00pm via Zoom
            October 29 3:00-4:00pm via Zoom

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