Internet for All Now Act of 2017 Advances to the Senate
On June 1, 2017 the California State Assembly passed the Internet for All Now Act of 2017 which will help expand broadband infrastructure deployment and adoption in rural communities in the North State and throughout California. Assembly Bill 1665, jointly authored by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and others, is a landmark piece of legislation to ensure that California continues to be a national leader in digital inclusion.
“The digital divide is just not acceptable in the 21st century. Rural Californians deserve the same access and opportunity as those in urban areas,” said Gallagher. “AB 1665 will help improve public safety, economic competition, and educational opportunities in the North State and beyond.”
AB 1665, will allocate $330 million and extend the soon to expire California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) for broadband deployment and adoption in rural and low income urban areas lacking sufficient internet infrastructure.
The CASF was established by the Legislature in 2008 and is administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
This legislation will call upon the CPUC to reach a goal of 98% household connectivity per region. AB 1665 also stipulates greater legislative oversight and accountability over the CPUC’s administration of funds to improve the program.
AB 1665 is now headed to the State Senate for further consideration.