CSAC Bulletin Article

Broadband Technical Assistance Webinars for Local Governments

The state and federal governments will both be presenting webinars in the coming days for local agency technical assistance.

The CPUC will host the first of two webinars on the Local Agency Technical Assistance Program this Tuesday, April 5 from 10-11 a.m. The program dedicates $50 million in reimbursable grants to local agencies and Tribal governments for pre-construction work on last-mile broadband connections to unserved and underserved areas.  Of this $50 million, at least $5 million is set-aside for Tribes.

 On February 24, the CPUC issued a final decision to establish the Local Agency Technical Assistance (LATA) grant program, which was authorized by SB 156 and is funded by the federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

Applications will be posted in early May and will be accepted on a rolling basis. Applications for up to $500,000 in reimbursable expenses per fiscal year will be eligible for ministerial review. Examples of reimbursable expenses include contracting with consultants, environmental studies, network design, and costs incurred in forming a joint powers authority dedicated to providing broadband.  

The CPUC will host a second webinar on April 19 from 10-11 a.m. Links for both webinars will be posted to the CPUC’s website in the coming days.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration also continues to hold a series of technical assistance webinars to help applicants prepare for upcoming broadband grant programs established through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) signed by President Biden last year. IIJA dedicated $65 billion in new investments to expand high-speed, affordable broadband across the nation.

The third of this five-part webinar series will take place on Wednesday, April 6 from 11:30-1:00. The NTIA’s website has links for attendees can register for the April 6 webinar, register for April 27 and May 11 webinars, and view recordings of previous webinars.

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