California will reverse a decision to scale down the expansion of broadband to internet-deprived low-income areas like East Oakland and South Central Los Angeles. Earlier in 2023, the state cited inflation and rising construction costs as reasons why primary broadband service expansions would be gutted, said Patrick Messac, Director for #OaklandUndivided, an internet advocacy nonprofit.
California is expected to significantly scale down a multibillion-dollar plan to expand high-speed broadband networks soon. And the data the state is using to make the amendments is inaccurate, experts and advocates say, meaning lower-income areas with some of the lowest rates of internet access, like East Oakland, could lose out the most. In pockets of Alameda County, which includes East Oakland, up to 38% of residents don’t have internet access, nearly triple the 13% statewide average.