TRAVER – At a rural elementary school in Tulare County, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed legislation to advance the state’s commitment to bridging the digital divide by increasing equitable, affordable access to high-speed internet service across California.
Through a $6 billion multi-year investment, more Californians will be able to access broadband coverage with the construction of a state-owned open access middle mile network and last mile projects that connect unserved households and businesses with local networks.
“As we work to build California back stronger than before, the state is committed to addressing the challenges laid bare by the pandemic, including the digital divide holding back too many communities in a state renowned for its pioneering technology and innovation economy.
“This $6 billion investment will make broadband more accessible than ever before, expanding opportunity across the spectrum for students, families and businesses – from enhanced educational supports to job opportunities to health care and other essential services. I thank the Legislature for its partnership on this critically important step to ensuring that California’s economic recovery will leave no part of our state behind”, said Governor Newsom.
Governor Newsom signed SB 156 at Traver Joint Elementary, a school serving diverse students in a rural Tulare County community. The school has distributed hotspot devices to students for internet access as part of the state’s cross-sector efforts launched during the pandemic.