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RECAP: Infrastructure Deployment Task Force Convening | Sept. 29, 2021

Infrastructure Deployment Task Force Objective

Identifying barriers and opportunities to complete high-quality broadband infrastructure deployment to all residents and businesses, especially in unserved and underserved communities



Summary

The Infrastructure Task Force held its fifth meeting on Sept. 29, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. Taskforce members received an update on the CPUC Rulemaking Proceeding process and learned Commissioner Guzman Aceves’s request for comments regarding Federal Funding Account is due Oct. 29, 2021. A discussion ensued regarding the process and the opportunity to create a one-pager breakdown to serve as a resource for interested members.



Resources


Discussion


The task force received an update on the infrastructure bills sitting on Governor Newsom’s desk awaiting signing or veto:

  • Senate Bill 4: California Advanced Services Fund

  • Senate Bull 378: Broadband Infrastructure Development Project Permit Processing

  • Senate Bill 556: Street light poles, traffic, signal poles, small wireless facilities

  • Assembly Bill 14: California Advanced Services Fund

  • Assembly Bill 41: Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

  • Assembly Bill 537: Wireless Telecommunications and Broadband Facilities

  • Assembly Bill 955: Highway Encroachment Permit- Broadband Facilities

A series of maps presented indicate Los Angeles County low-income households are far less likely to have a broadband subscription. The number of providers with speeds that exceed the threshold set in Senate Bill 156:

  • One provider for 21 percent of the county with 21 percent of households

  • Two providers for 18 percent of the county with 52 percent of households

  • Three providers for 5 percent of the county with 22 percent of households

  • Four + providers for 79 percent of the county with 3 percent of households

  • Lower-income communities have fewer providers, and so increasing service providers would reduce the cost of the internet

  • More open access middle mile network is needed to increase affordable fiber to homes throughout Los Angeles County for unserved and underserved areas.

Several equity partners made comments about later routes and not just committing routes to state highways. There is concern that the maps under-represent the deployed fiber, and so the LA DEAL is requesting updated data maps since newer data was submitted to FCC in June 2021. Lastly, from a mapping perspective, overlaying the economic mobility factors might be a valuable way to show the dead spots and market penetration.


There are several means for connecting households to the internet beyond fiber, including wireless, satellite, hybrid coaxial.


There are several known dead zones in South Los Angeles, CA, regardless of the map layout. For example, the City of Inglewood has been experiencing throttling ever since it built the SOFI stadium. It is creating a significant challenge for households throughout the pandemic. Recent household surveys support the claims listed above.



The Infrastructure Deployment Task Force meets virtually monthly and includes health, nonprofit, education, business, city municipalities, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit: ladeal.org/events.


Meeting #6 is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2021.





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