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RECAP: Policy & Advocacy Task Force Convening | Aug. 30, 2021

Policy & Advocacy Task Force Objective

Identifying priorities for public policy to permanently eliminate the digital divide



Summary

The Policy Task Force held its fourth meeting on Aug. 30, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in the Los Angeles County region. The task force members reviewed the common themes emerging from the previous meetings, discussed state legislation and the key factors to include in the process to help the consortium determine when to support/oppose the legislation. Ana Dahan from Great Public Schools NOW was introduced as the new co-chair for the policy and advocacy task force.



Discussion


The task force was briefed on the CPUC Rule Making Process and the approval of LA DEAL as the region’s only consortium, which is equity focus:

  • The PUC approved the LA DEAL application to be funded as the regional consortia for L.A. County and was awarded $300,000 for two- years to be split between UNITE-LA and LAEDC

  • A key focus for the LA Digital Equity Action League Consortium will be to identify CASF infrastructure projects where ISPs can expand and improve their infrastructure

  • Facilitate the deployment of broadband services by assisting infrastructure applicants

  • Conducting activities leading to infrastructure applications

  • The CPUC Rulemaking process $6 Billion earmarked with few parameters on the funding allocation, and so there is an opportunity to make progress for L.A. County towards digital equity

  • SB 156 provisions require the Commission to identify existing middle-mile infrastructure and areas with no known middle-mile infrastructure that is an open access

  • Los Angeles has over 60,000 unserved households based

CPUC guiding points considerations:

  • Making a case for unserved and underserved as nearly $2 million people do not have a broadband subscription

  • Digital inclusion starts by investing in broadening digital literacy by partnering with trusted community organizations

  • L.A. County has rural and urban areas with varying levels of need

  • The data point included in the call for comments 1.8 percent is completely unserved by 100 down. Equity included using the number of unserved households to ensure communities in need are not excluded

Broadband legislation update:

  • SB 4 Gonzalez - California Advanced Services Fund → second reading file

  • SB 28 Caballero - Rural Broadband and Digital Infrastructure Competition Reform Act → second reading file

  • SB 378 - Gonzalez - Microtrenching Permit Process → third reading file focuses on the best practices on the deployment of broadband



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


Meeting #5 is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2021.




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