From Assemblymember Phil Ting
Broadband for everyone

Bridging the Gap to Broadband

With California home to so many leading tech companies, it's hard to believe there are areas throughout the state struggling with internet access. The digital divide was painfully obvious when students had to go to school virtually and many of us had to rely on online shopping to avoid crowds during a portion of the pandemic.

In this year's state budget, we recognize that in order to fully participate in a 21st century economy, all of our residents need access to affordable high-speed connectivity. But the free-market approach of letting private internet service companies construct broadband lines has left out rural communities, as well as urban neighborhoods with low profit potential.

As Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, I see an urgent need to fix that gap. I'm proud we're investing $6 billion in this year's state budget to help build out our broadband infrastructure, enabling more Californians to thrive and prosper in our ever-changing world. About half of that budget allocation will build an open-access middle-mile broadband network, which will open the door for more internet providers to come in and connect unserved and underserved communities to high-speed internet. The funding will also be used to install last-mile lines.

The goal is to remedy the long-standing inequities in digital access. It's exciting to see the opportunities this opens for many Californians. Whether that means small businesses extending their market reach, patients accessing telemedicine, or students taking a virtual college class, high-speed broadband access can be life-changing for those who don't have it right now.


Assemblymember, 19th District

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