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New initiative seeks expansion of broadband infrastructure


To serve more communities of color

Broadband infrastructure has been a core concern for many people in underserved communities for several years. South Los Angeles has been in dire need of broadband infrastructure, or in other words access to high-speed reliable internet.

In July 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 156 that created the Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative (MMBI). The initiative is a first step to providing open-access and middle-mile networks that provide consistent internet connectivity between homes, businesses, and community institutions.

The Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative is a physical infrastructure that is necessary for internet connectivity between homes, businesses, and community institutions. As of September 12, Governor Newsom renewed his commitment to the previously signed Senate Bill after meeting with the California Black Caucus. Governor Newsom also stated that the January 2024 budget will focus on a proposal to fund the broadband infrastructure project.

Middle-Mile refers to high-capacity fiber lines that carry large amounts of data at very high speeds over lengthy distances while connecting local and global internet networks. Open-access means wifi accessibility amongst various technology networks.

Part of Governor Newsom’s proposal will include the funding of the remaining 1,700 miles of Broadband network. High-speed and fast connecting internet will soon be accessible for South Los Angeles residents. Internet connectivity is important as it helps to educate, inform, and assist people working from home, assists with online education, socialization, and staying connected.

Liana Bailey-Crimmins, Director of the California Department of Technology says, “The Administration remains fully committed to funding the State’s Middle-Mile Network, a 10,000-mile broadband network developed in partnership with communities across the state. Due to inflation and rising construction costs, the $3.87 billion in federal and state funding provided to date is estimated to be sufficient to develop about 8,300 miles of the network, providing a state-of-the-art backbone to connect high-speed internet projects for unserved communities.

With this additional funding, we will complete the total 10,000 miles needed to serve all urban, rural, and tribal communities throughout the state, providing physical access to high-speed internet for unserved and underserved communities. The Governor views this investment as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide California with the largest, most resilient open-access network in the nation, making it possible for households to receive internet service through last-mile connections so that every Californian may fully participate in a digital society and the modern economy.”