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

2015 Champions of Technology Nominations Open through March 6

The California State Fair is accepting nominations for 2015 Champions of Technology. Two technology champions will be chosen for remarkable contributions. Both an individual and a project or organization will be honored for commendable technological achievement benefiting Californians. Awards will be presented at its annual State Fair Gala, Thursday, June 25, 2015. Nominations can be emailed to Adelina.Zendejas@state.ca.gov. For questions on the award, please contact Laura Askins at (916) 403-9634.

California Broadband Council 2015 Appointments

February 2015
The Honorable Anthony Rendon and the Honorable Ben Hueso have been appointed to the California Broadband Council. The recent additions join California Department of Technology Director and State CIO Carlos Ramos, who was appointed Chair, effective January 1, 2015.

FCC on Net Neutrality and Broadband as Infrastructure

February 2015
The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing net neutrality regulations and may move to reclassify broadband as an infrastructure. The FCC is expected to post new rules at its February 26 meeting.

FCC Commissioner Wheeler Discusses Net Neutrality

February 2015
After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly four million public comments, the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived. Commissioner Tom Wheeler discusses his opinion and proposed directions here.

FCC Blogs on Municipal Broadband

February 2015
According to the FCC blog, those who wish to preempt state laws impacting municipal broadband networks often cite up to 21 states that have limitations or restrictions on such networks. A closer inspection of the specific state laws being criticized, however, offers a much different picture regarding the scope and particulars of the specific state limitations. 

California School Grants for Broadband Infrastructure

February 2015
The state grants provide the last step needed to connect an additional 63,000 students to the state education network and give them access to technology, thus helping to close the digital divide.

PPIC Releases Digital Learning in California’s K-12 Schools Report

January 2015
California is implementing new tests (known as Smarter Balanced assessments) to complement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Since these new tests are delivered fully online, parents, researchers, and the general public have voiced concerns about the ability of schools’ technology infrastructure to handle this large new task.

State Schools Chief Torlakson Announces Broadband Grants

January 2015
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced 227 school sites will share nearly $27 million in Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants (BIIG) to help school districts enhance their network connectivity so they can successfully administer the state’s new online tests.

CPUC to Approve Broadband Public Housing Grant Program Dec. 18

December 2014
The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to approve the California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Broadband Grant Guidelines on December 18, which will create a new state grant opportunity to facilitate the installation of on-site broadband internet for public housing units. Up to $20 million will be available for grants and loans to finance projects to connect broadband networks to public housing, and an additional $5 million will be available to support adoption programs, which will provide devices and training to residents of public housing. Eligible applicants include public housing authorities and non-profit public housing owners. Click here for additional updates.

Yolo County Releases Draft Broadband Strategic Plan

December 2014
Yolo County has released its draft Broadband Strategic Plan. Representatives will make presentations throughout the county in January and February before finalizing the plan in March 2015.

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

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Google Launches Girl Coding Initiative: Made with Code

June 2014
Google has committed $50 million over three years to the effort, which among other things includes a website that urges girls to code by suggesting projects; examples of success stories; community and resource links; and more.


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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.