California bill would help close digital divide and make the state a leader on connectivity

Today, Access Now joined over 30 other organizations in supporting California State Senator Lena Gonzalez’s SB 1130. The bill would update the state’s broadband buildout program to focus on “future-proof” technology and make it easier to improve slow and inadequate connections (like Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL). Such an update is sorely needed now that COVID-19-related quarantine has shown us how essential broadband connectivity is to our survival.

“By passing this bill, California can be a leader in closing the digital divide and getting people connected to high-quality, high-speed internet access,” said Eric Null, U.S. Policy Manager at Access Now. “The U.S. has struggled to connect all people to broadband, despite having universal service mandates for communications technology. California can set an example. Senator Gonzalez’s bill would put California leagues ahead of other states and countries in getting everyone, including at-risk communities and rural areas, connected to truly future-proof internet service.”

As the United States grapples with how to confront the public health crisis, Access Now will continue to call for the full protection of digital rights, including the right to internet access, for everyone.