The California legislature has been handed what might be their easiest job this year, and they are refusing to do it.
Californians far and wide have spent the pandemic either tethered to their high-speed broadband connections (if they’re lucky), or desperately trying to find ways to make their internet ends meet. School children are using the wifi in parking lots, shared from fast food restaurants. Mobile broadband isn’t cutting it, as anyone who’s been outside of a major city and tried to make a video call on their phone can tell you. Experts everywhere insist we need a bold plan that gives communities, organizations, and nonprofits the ability and the funds to build fiber infrastructure that will serve those individuals who aren’t on the radar of the big telecommunications companies.
Take 60 Seconds to Call Your RepRESENTATIVES Today
Luckily, the California legislature has, sitting on their desks, $7 billion to spend on this public broadband infrastructure. This includes $4 billion to construct a statewide, open-access middle-mile network using California’s highway and utility rights of way. It's a plan that would give California—the world’s fifth largest economy, which is heavily dependent on high-speed internet—one of the largest public broadband fiber networks in the country.
This plan needs only a simple majority to pass. But while Californians are mostly captive to the big telecom and cable companies for whatever high-speed investment they’ve decided will be most profitable, the legislature is captive in a different way: Comcast, AT&T, and other telcos are traditionally some of the biggest lobbyists in the country, and their influence is particularly strong in California. We must convince the legislature to pass Governor Newsom’s plan for a long-term, future-proof investment in our communities. One-thousand Californians have already reached out to their representatives to demand that they take action. We need everyone—you, your friends, your family, and anyone else you know in California—to double that number. Speak up today before the legislature decides to sit this one out. Inaction could force California to lose federal dollars for the project. Every day we don’t move forward is another day lost. The state should be breaking ground as soon as possible for what will undoubtedly be a years-long infrastructure project.
TAKE 60 SECONDS TO CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY
If you're unable to call, please send an email. If you can, do both — the future of California's high-speed internet depend on it.