New Law Aims for Digital Equity in Broadband Services

Senate Bill (SB) 28, by state Senator Anna Caballero (SD 12), was signed into law earlier this month—and revises the DIVCA of 2006—including changes to the type of information collected by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from state franchise holders. The CPUC can use the collected data to enforce customer service requirements on cable and internet service providers (ISPs). If the service providers fail to meet their franchise license obligations, they will be shut down.

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‘Dig Once’ Legislation Aims to Accelerate Broadband Deployment, Awaits Action by Governor

Legislation intended to accelerate the deployment of broadband infrastructure by calling for a “Dig Once” policy has passed the Legislature and currently awaits final action by Gov. Newsom.  Assembly Bill (AB) 41 by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) proposes to follow practices used in other states to minimize the number of excavations when installing telecommunications infrastructure.

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New Mobile App Gives California Residents a Warning Seconds Before Quakes Hit

When it comes to emergencies, especially natural disasters, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. MyShake is a mobile app that alerts California residents a few seconds before an earthquake hits, allowing time to take cover or get to a nearby safe spot.

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CDT Hires Deputy State Chief Technology Innovation Officer

The California Department of Technology (CDT) recently hired a new Deputy State Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Phoebe Peronto, who began in her new role on September 20. Prior to working for CDT, Peronto served more than one and a half years at Tanium, where she was director of special projects and then head of global communications. Rick Klau, State Chief Technology Information Officer, says that Peronto’s energy has great compatibility with the team. “Phoebe brings unmatched skill, energy, and creativity to her new role,” says Klau. “She joins a vibrant team that is revolutionizing the way state government is serving [...]

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Legislature Approves New Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development

California is notorious for being in flames in what seems like an endless wildfire season. Factors including climate change and an increasing population in locations with flammable materials—like fuel and dry brush—all contribute to wildfires and the unpredictable damages they cause.

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California Selects Nonprofit as Broadband Partner

As part of a massive effort to improve broadband infrastructure, the state today announced it is partnering with a third-party administrator (TPA) to oversee California's middle-mile broadband initiative. CENIC California Middle-Mile Broadband Initiative, LLC will serve as the TPA to manage the development and construction of broadband networks as part of this year's state budget allocation aimed at closing the digital divide.

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Little Hoover Commission Calls on Government to Continue Virtual Meetings

In its new report, California’s independent government watchdog says that it would be more cost-efficient to make state government more accessible by permitting fully remote public meetings, even after the pandemic is over. (image: iStockphoto.com)

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Nonprofit creates open-source digital infrastructure for agriculture industry

A nonprofit organization is aiming to help modernize the global agriculture industry by launching an open-source technology project to serve as a platform and tool suite to help feed the world and reduce agricultural waste.

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Will California’s power grid withstand heatwaves this summer?

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) projects electricity supply for summer 2021 to be better than last year. Although a series of policy changes and redesigns of ISO’s system has occurred, along with improved communications and coordination protocols, the power grid is still prone to be overstressed during extreme heat waves—according to the ISO’s summer outlook released this month.

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New report calls for government innovation to solve digital inequities

The COVID-19 pandemic has unironically highlighted the digital divide, especially considering how many Americans attend school and work meetings—or even shop—from the comfort of their homes. But, there’s no surprise that many Californians do not have broadband connectivity in their homes.

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Broadband access hits record high, digital divide remains for disadvantaged

A new report out this week says that while Californians are connected to the Internet at a record percentage in 2021, nearly 2 million households remain digitally-disadvantaged.  The Digital Divide has grown more acute for low-income and Latino households, seniors, and people with disabilities, according to a survey by the California Emerging Technology Fund and USC.

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Grants awarded to protect vulnerable communities from PSPS

The State of California is distributing $50 million in Community Power Resiliency grants aimed to protect local and vulnerable communities from the effects of utility-initiated power shutoffs. The grants will be distributed through the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

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PPIC report measures California’s digital divide

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a record-high 84 percent of Californians are using high-speed internet at home—up 10 percent from 2017. The pandemic has shifted many, if not most, activities to online; Californians are using the internet for activities like accessing financial services, telecommuting, job hunting, distanced academic learning, or virtual job training.

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