California Will Get Nearly $2 Billion In Federal Funds To Improve High-speed Internet Access

The Biden-Harris Administration’s financing will supplement California’s unprecedented $6 billion in funding for the construction of the country’s largest broadband infrastructure network, enabling all families in the state to have access to dependable, reasonably priced high-speed Internet.

Today, following the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement of its financing commitment to provide high-speed Internet access to all Americans, Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement. As part of President Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, California will receive $1.86 billion in financing from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

The tweet below is about the announcement of the Fund:

Governor Newsom’s Remarks

Together with the Biden-Harris Administration, we’re connecting millions of Californians with reliable, affordable high-speed Internet. With the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, billions of dollars are headed our way, boosting our efforts to provide all Californians – regardless of zip code – access to the Internet. This infusion of funding will help build on the work done in recent years with the Legislature to cut red tape around broadband infrastructure projects and get high-speed Internet access to more Californians, helping make the digital divide a thing of the past.”

On InternetForAll.gov, information on the federal financing is provided.

The amount of funds now available in California for “last-mile” broadband infrastructure has nearly doubled thanks to this historic commitment.

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The Governor signed landmark legislation in 2021 allocating $6 billion for achieving Broadband for All, including $2 billion for comparable “last-mile” projects and $3.25 billion for the middle-mile network. Additionally, last year’s budget included an additional $550 million for the project as it enters the construction phase.

Through CEQA exemptions and alternative delivery methods, Governor Newsom and the Legislature expedited state regulatory rules for the middle-mile project as part of the 2021 funding, reducing project approval times from 30 months to under one year. In an effort to speed up the construction of vital infrastructure around the state, the governor is working on similar streamlining this year.

California started building the almost $4 billion nationwide “middle mile” broadband program last year, which will be the largest broadband backbone infrastructure network in the country.

A little more than one in five Californians lack access to dependable and reasonably priced high-speed internet. When everything is said and done, money for “last mile” initiatives will support internet connections from “middle mile” lines to residences and businesses, as well as initiatives to make sure people can afford broadband access where it is already available.

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