SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Minimizing the gap in the digital divide is getting one step closer after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill giving universal broadband for all.
Senate Bill 156 will invest $6 billion broadband infrastructure budget to get high-quality internet for everyone across the state.
"California has fallen woefully behind when it comes to ensuring universal broadband connectivity, leaving those most in need -- families and small businesses as well as certain rural, urban and tribal communities without reliable Internet," Arnold Sowell Jr., executive director of NextGen Policy, said in a press release.
Sowell mentioned that the pandemic proved California had issues when it came to internet issues, while many were unable to connect online to essential services like telehealth, classes for distance learning, job training, e-commerce and emergency response among other things.
NextGen Policy helped support the bill by offering recommendations to bridge the digital divide in the broadband plan. The goal is for the internet connectivity to remedy the long-standing inequities in digital access.
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