California: Tell Your Lawmakers That All Californians Deserve 21st-Century Internet

This is a crucial moment for the future of broadband access in the state of California. Legislators face two very different options for how to invest its money: in modern, high-capacity fiber networks by supporting S.B. 1130, or in slow wireless and DSL copper networks by advancing A.B. 570. 
The choice should be clear. Urge your lawmakers to support S.B. 1130, which outlines a plan to permanently close the digital divide for all Californians. This puts the state on the path to ensure that rural and low-income communities, neglected for years by major national ISPs, have an equal shot to participate in the modern economy. All roads to the broadband future runs through fiber, and state policy should be focused on extending it to everyone. Many countries around the world, including those with smaller economies than California’s, have universal fiber plans. It’s time for California to follow suit.
A.B. 570, meanwhile, would delay fiber buildout—stalling efforts to bring everyone to the 21st century. This bill prioritizes financing the construction of slower networks that can’t be leveraged by local communities into the future. As written, A.B. 570 will cost taxpayers a substantial amount more, while failing to provide networks up to the task of today’s Internet needs. It would ignore 1 million Californians who lack high-speed broadband access from state help, particularly in rural communities. And it won’t address the fact that California will still have to replace these networks in years to come, if it wants to keep pace with demand. 
The path to fixing AB 570 is simple and straightforward. Lawmakers must simply be thoughtful about what type of infrastructure they fund and who benefits from these networks. Before moving it forward, the legislature should change A.B. 570 to build more modern networks and ensure it pushes fiber closer to rural and low-income communities. 
The clock is ticking. The legislature only has a few weeks left to make the right call for our future. If you live in California, your voice is needed now more than ever. Tell your lawmakers to support S.B. 1130 and fix A.B. 570.


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