published on December 9, 2020 - 1:33 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

With Covid-19 bringing center stage the need for better connection in rural and underserved communities, new legislation in Sacramento has been announced to amend the issue.

On Monday, State Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 28, the Rural Broadband and Digital Infrastructure Video Competition Reform Act of 2021, to help build broadband networks that reach Californians in underserved areas.

Sen. Caballero’s district includes parts of Madera and Fresno counties.

“The Covid-19 pandemic placed a spotlight on the inequality caused by California’s persistent digital divide,” Caballero said. “Now more than ever, we must ensure equal broadband network development across all of California, and eliminate the digital divide.”

The bill requires the Department of General Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education and the Department of Technology to identify all state and real properties, rights of way and other resources suitable for a public/private partnership for broadband network development. Agencies will develop a template agreement that enables any broadband network developer to utilize the identified state assets in its network development panning and deployment plans.

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