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

Wide Differences in Broadband Access in California Households

June 2015
According to a new statewide Field Poll examining the "digital divide" in California, 79% of California households have a broadband connection at home, while 21% do not. Overall, including the much slower dial-up connections, 87% of households reported they have the ability to connect to the Internet from home. The survey was conducted on behalf of the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), a non-profit foundation focused on promoting broadband deployment and adoption.

Connect America Fund Helps Expand Broadband in Yolo County

June 2015
Frontier Communications Corp. has accepted slightly more than $6 million from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband to about 12,822 of its rural customers in California, including 478 homes in Yolo County supported with $285,823. The Connect America Fund will provide ongoing support for rural broadband networks in Frontier’s service areas capable of delivering broadband at speeds of at least 10 Megabits per second, for downloads and 1 Mbps uploads to approximately 12,822 homes and businesses in California.

Muni Broadband Goes Mainstream

June 2015
There are new opportunities to be found in the changing landscape of American broadband. The president is leading an abolition of state laws that impede competition against regional monopolies. The Federal Communications Commission reclassified Internet service as a Title II utility under the Communications Act of 1934, cementing the preservation of net neutrality.

Los Angeles CityLink LA Broadband Initiative

June 2015
CityLinkLA (formerly referred to as Los Angeles Community Broadband Network or LACBN) is a City-wide initiative designed to make “broadband” available in all areas of Los Angeles at speeds comparable to other innovative communities around the world.

Coachella Valley School District – Accelerates Digital Learning

June 2015
With roughly 19,500 students – 100 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced-priced meals – spread out over an area the larger than the state of Rhode Island, Coachella Valley Unified School District is committed to closing the digital learning gap.

What Went Wrong with L.A. Unified’s Digital Learning Initiative?

June 2015
While most of the public's attention focused on the initiative's rocky iPad procurement and deployment process, one program investigator hones in on the challenges found inside the classrooms.

Hackathon Coders Use California Health-Care Portal to Develop Apps

June 2015
A civic hackathon at UC Davis recently challenged participants to use health-care data from the California state government drew a big crowd of coders and produced apps. Sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation, approximately 60 coders turned in a total of 15 apps by the Sunday afternoon deadline.

Dan Doctoroff and Google Announce Sidewalk Labs Urban Project

June 2015
Dan Doctoroff, the former CEO of Bloomberg LP and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York, and Google today announced the formation of Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company that will develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, with a focus on improving city life for residents, businesses and governments.

Google Is Testing Its Internet Balloons in a Huge Freezer

June 2015
Project Loon, Google’s ambitious plan to deliver Internet service from enormous balloons floating in the stratosphere, continues to expand. When the company revealed the project in the summer of 2013, these polyethylene balloons stayed aloft for about five days. 

Los Angeles Accepts CityLinkLA network proposals


June 2015
An idea that might have once seemed quixotic, providing free broadband Internet across the city, is a little closer to reality this week after the City Council voted to start accepting proposals to install sections of a "CityLinkLA" network. The unanimous vote came after city administrative officer Miguel Santana unveiled a report that outlines how this might work.

Federal judges deny bid to keep FCC's net neutrality rules

June 2015
A Federal appeals court declined to halt implementation of tough new net neutrality regulations, paving the way for the rules to go into effect. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied petitions Thursday for a temporary stay made by AT&T Inc. and other opponents of the online traffic rules in separate lawsuits. In allowing the rules to take effect, the court granted a request for an expedited review of the suits.

Outlook for approval of Charter-Time Warner Cable deal

May 2015
Charter Communications Inc. is moving quickly and aggressively to transform itself into one of the nation's most powerful Internet service and pay-television providers, one that also sees benefits in the growing use of online streaming services such as Netflix.

Lighting Up Libraries: Broadband in California Public Libraries

May 2015
Sacramento, Calif. -Recognizing the important role libraries play in workforce development and the state’s education system, the Brown administration is bringing 21st Century digital service to more than one-third of California’s 1,112 libraries, beginning July 1. Through an appropriation approved by Governor Brown and lawmakers in the current budget, libraries will be joining the same broadband network linking the University of California, the state university system, community colleges, and a growing number of public school districts.

F.C.C. Chief Seeks Broadband Plan to Aid the Poor

May 2015
For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty. Now, the nation’s top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.

How Girls Who Code Hope to Inspire the Next Generation

May 2015
The Department of Labor predicts 1.4 million jobs in technology by 2020. American women are predicted to fill only three percent.

PPIC Reports on California – Ready for Online Testing?

April 2015
In addition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), California is implementing a new, online assessment system: the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Field tests were conducted last spring and the system is being rolled out this year, amid concerns about whether schools are technologically prepared.

Yolo County Finalizes Broadband Strategic Plan

March 2015
Yolo County has finalized its Broadband Strategic Plan. Read how representatives plan to meet community broadband needs and identify key public and private initiatives that support the overall mission of equipping their community for the digital economy.

FCC Sets Net Neutrality Rules

March 2015
The Federal Communications Commission has released extensive details of how it would regulate broadband Internet providers as a public utility, producing official wording that almost certainly sets the stage for extended legal fights.

California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Grant for Broadband and Digital Adoption

February 2015
The California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Grant for Broadband and Digital Adoption is seeking applications for its Broadband Public Housing Account (BPHA). Under the BPHA, the Commission will award up to $20 million in grants and loans, to finance a project to connect a broadband network. The Commission also will award up to $5 million for grants and loans to a publicly supported community to support programs designed to increase adoption rates for broadband services.

FCC Launches Connect2Health Task Force

In 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler launched the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force to oversee all FCC broadband-enabled healthcare initiatives. There is a growing demand for telehealth and rural healthcare in the United States, and the FCC is reviewing the challenges of developing these initiatives to help Americans

Comcast Internet Essentials

Comcast Internet Essentials

Comcast Internet Essentials has announced changes to its Internet Essential program. Now for $9.95 per month, eligible families can provide Internet at home. The program has also added educational resources from Khan Academy, and free on-line training to learn essential Internet skills.

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.

California Broadband Consortium

California Broadband Consortia Map: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/39B23EE4-985F-4923-877D-49EFFA4A2319/0/CASFAllApprovedProjects2014.pdf

California Emerging Technology Fund

The California Emerging Technology Fund provides leadership statewide to close the "Digital Divide" by accelerating the deployment and adoption of broadband to unserved and underserved communities and populations.

Federal Government Revitalized Computers for Schools and Non-Profits

News Image In order to advocate and promote the reuse of computers, the Federal General Services Administration has created a website for eligible schools and educational non-profits interested in receiving surplus computers.
For information on eligibility to participate in the CFL program: http://computersforlearning.gov/htm/hp_schooleducation.htm

News Image

KHAN Academy Partners to Offer free SAT Testing Prep

The College Board, creators of the SAT, recently announced a redesigned SAT coming in 2016 and a historic partnership with Khan Academy to make comprehensive, best-in-class SAT prep materials open and free.