Congressional hearing in Bakersfield (CA) focuses on rural broadband debate

A delegation of US Congress members part of the Congressional Western Caucus and House Commerce Committee was in Bakersfield (CA) on May 10. At a nearly two-hour field hearing, Central Valley farming representatives joined rural internet service providers in highlighting the importance of high-speed connectivity to precision agriculture as well as poor communities reliant on computers for health care, education and remote work. While there was little question how vital internet service has become to rural areas, the underlying question was what role the government should have in not only he

Los Angeles County to offer discounted home internet to lower-income residents in some neighborhoods

Los Angeles County has started work on a wireless broadband network that will deliver high-speed connections for as little as $25 a month. The county signed a contract with WeLink of Lehi, Utah, to build the network and offer the service in East Los AngelesBoyle Heights and South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County chooses WeLink to serve FWA to 275,000 locations

In 2021, Los Angeles County leaders decided they wanted to close the digital divide in some underserved areas. So, the county issued a request for proposal, soliciting bids from broadband providers. Surprisingly, WeLink, a relatively unknown fixed wireless access (FWA) provider, won the contract, beating out incumbents such as AT&T and Charter Communications.

California Is Spending Billions On ‘Broadband For All,’ But Critics Say It Will Not Lower Internet Prices

Californians spend an average of $84 per month to connect to the internet—and some of the most vulnerable groups, including older adults, veterans and people with disabilities, tend to pay even more. So the state is spending billions of dollars to make broadband more affordable and available under its Broadband for All plan.

‘The Internet Is Everything'. What It’s Like To Parent When You Don’t Have Basic Computer Skills

Up until last year, Nancy Navarro didn’t know how to check her kids’ grades or schedule online appointments. She had Wi-Fi at home so her 15 and 11-year-old kids could do their homework on their school-issued laptops, but she wasn’t online herself very often. But then she noticed that her kids’ school was offering free digital training classes through the local nonprofit EveryoneOn, which aims to connect as many underserved people as possible on the internet.

FCC won’t block California net neutrality law, says states can “experiment”

California can keep enforcing its state net neutrality law after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implements its own rules.

California's Digital Equity Plan Accepted

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has accepted California’s Digital Equity plan. Using $4,001,520.00 from the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, California created a plan aimed at addressing disparities in digital access, skills and affordability across the state.  

Over 100 Years After Electrification: Will California Lead the Way to Internet as a Public Utility?

The Affordable Connectivity Program is ending and California has a monumental, once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead our communities into a new era of equitable affordable connectivity, not unlike the electrification of the United States in the early-to-mid 1900s. Internet affordability in California, like much of the country, relies on the goodwill of profit-driven Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and family enrollment in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a subsidy program whose

California PUC Will Accept Loan Loss Reserve Program Applications

California's Broadband Loan Loss Reserve Fund is a $500 million fund that provides a credit enhancement related to the financing of local broadband infrastructure development. The reserve fund expands the ability of local governments, tribes and non-profits to secure financing for building last-mile projects, with an emphasis on public broadband networks. The Fund will provide collateral to local governments to enable more favorable borrowing rates and terms for bonds issued to deploy broadband infrastructure. The Fund was established in 2021. The benefits of the Fund include:

California Public Utilities Commission Delivers $7 Million Boost for High-Speed Internet Projects in Rural Communities

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) delivered a $7 million boost for high-speed internet projects in rural communities across the state. The newest multi-million-dollar grant award is a continuation of the CPUC’s work to support California’s Broadband For All initiative. Funding will go to three projects: