California Has Been Granted Nearly $2 Billion in Federal Funding to Enhance the Availability of High-speed Internet Connectivity

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Funding provided by the Biden-Harris Administration will assist California in granting all families reliable and affordable high-speed Internet access. This funding adds to California’s already substantial $6 billion investment in establishing the largest broadband infrastructure network in the country.

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom has released a statement in response to the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of funding allocation for nationwide high-speed Internet deployment.

As part of President Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, California will receive $1.86 billion from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Governor Newsom stated, “In collaboration with the Biden-Harris Administration, we are connecting millions of Californians to dependable and affordable high-speed Internet.

With the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, billions of dollars are coming our way, bolstering our efforts to ensure that all Californians, regardless of their location, have Internet access.

This funding injection will build upon the progress made in recent years with the Legislature, reducing bureaucratic obstacles surrounding broadband infrastructure projects and expanding high-speed Internet access to more Californians, ultimately eliminating the digital divide.”

This historic allocation nearly doubles the available funding for “last-mile” broadband infrastructure in California. In 2021, the Governor signed groundbreaking legislation that earmarked $6 billion for achieving universal broadband access. This included $2 billion for similar “last-mile” projects and $3.25 billion for the middle-mile network. Last year’s budget allocated an additional $550 million towards the project, facilitating its progression into the construction phase.

As part of the 2021 funding, Governor Newsom and the Legislature streamlined state permitting regulations for the middle-mile project. This involved exemptions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and alternative delivery methods, resulting in a reduction of project permitting timelines from 30 months to less than one year. The Governor is currently working on similar streamlining efforts this year to expedite critical infrastructure construction across the state.

Last year, California initiated the construction of the nearly $4 billion statewide “middle-mile” broadband initiative, which will become the largest backbone infrastructure network in the nation.

Approximately one in five Californians currently lack access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. Once completed, the funding allocated for “last-mile” endeavors will support the establishment of Internet connections from “middle-mile” lines to homes and businesses. It will also aid in ensuring that individuals can afford broadband services in areas where it is already available.

Leave a Comment