Broadband and Digital Literacy Office


Mission

The Broadband and Digital Literacy Office supports Department of Technology goals to promote and foster statewide Broadband and Digital Literacy initiatives. We build relationships between the Department of Technology and key private, non-profit, community-based organizations, as well as public stakeholders interested in promoting broadband expansion, adoption and inclusion.

Vision

While our state is a leader in developing broadband infrastructure, thousands of Californians remain off-line. Broadband is vital to our economic future. The Broadband and Digital Literacy Offices collaborates with state agencies, non-profits, community-based organizations and private sector entities to bridge the digital divide.

In the Spotlight

Back-to-School Special

This special program offers up to six months of free Comcast Internet Essentials connectivity for families with children who qualify for the federal free lunch program.
Comcast Extends Internet Essentials Six Months Free Service Promotion through September 30.

California First Responder Network (CalFRN)

California's First Responder Network (CalFRN) will create a statewide public safety network that will be part of the larger scale Nationwide, Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). In February 2012, Congress enacted The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It directs the establishment of a NPSBN for use by first responders and other public safety workers. In 2012, Governor Brown, Jr. appointed Karen Wong, Assistant Director of Public Safety Communications, as the point of contact in coordination with Director Mark Ghilarducci of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to consult with the FirstNet Board.

USDA Accepting Applications for Advanced Communications Technology in Rural Areas

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 22, 2014, the USDA is accepting applications for grants to enhance telecommunications and broadcast services in rural areas. The USDA plans to provide up to $13 million from the Community Connect Grant Program to fund broadband in unserved areas to support economic growth and deliver enhanced educational, health care and public safety services. Awardees must serve an area where broadband does not exist, provide a community center with broadband access, and offer broadband service to all residential and business customers. The USDA also announced it is making available up to $19.3 million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine program grants to fund access to rural education, training and health care resources, and will provide up to $2 million as part of the USDA's continued support of rural telecommunications and broadcast services. Applications are due July 7.

USDA funding helps rural communications

May 27, 2014
Access to advanced telecommunications technology, including broadband, is one the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s important investments in rural communities. “Today, high speed broadband access provides rural areas with the ability to expand educational programs, increase access to health care and boost rural businesses and social services,” said Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien.