'Internet for All Now' Becoming a Reality
On April 26, the Internet for All Now Act (AB 1665-Garcia), also known as IFAN, was heard in the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee. Through a strong stakeholder process, a framework has been agreed to for the legislation which includes the following:
$300M for the Infrastructure Account with the goal to achieve 98% deployment in each region ($270M has been authorized to date and the existing 98% goal applies statewide - the regional goal is very important for unserved Rural California).
$20M for the new Adoption Account for performance-based grants to increase verified subscriptions among low-income households with eligible applicants including schools, libraries and community-based organizations.
$10M for Regional Consortia. This funding will provide robust support for continued active leadership within each region to close the Digital Divide.
The IFAN bill received more than 70 letters of support. AT&T spoke in support of the bill during the hearing and numerous other stakeholders voiced their support as well. There was no opposition stated during the hearing. The Committee voted to advance the bill to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations where it will next be heard and debated.
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Tammy Cronin is a Valley Vision Project Leader working in the clean air, broadband and clean economy portfolios.