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Supervisor: Broadband funding bill passes State Assembly, Senate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION)

UPDATE 7/15/2021 12:15 p.m. A $6 billion broadband package has passed in the state Assembly and Senate, according to Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo.

Alejo said the bill was passed in the assembly by a bipartisan vote of 71-0. He said it passed in the senate by a 39-0 bipartisan vote. He said only Sen. Grove did not vote.

The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for his signature.

PREVIOUS STORY: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he, Senate President pro Temore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) have agreed on a broadband trailer bill intended to expand the state's broadband fiber infrastructure and increase internet connectivity.

Governor announces billion-dollar plan to close California's digital divide

“This broadband package is historic. It transcends politics, and it will be a legacy project that will benefit generations of rural and urban residents alike. This legislation will yield vital, broadened access for California families by prioritizing the unserved and underserved areas, facilities, households, and businesses that remain disconnected in the digital era," they wrote in a statement.

They say the bill includes:

  • More accountability and legislative oversight
  • The creation of a "broadband czar" and council within the California Department of Technology
  • Hiring a third-party to build and maintain the "middle-mile network" high capacity fiberlines
  • Investing $3.25 billion to target the middle mile and build broadband lines
  • Providing $2 billion for "last-mile" infrastructure lines ($1 billion for rural communities and $1 billion for urban communities)

Read the full text of the bill here.

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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