SACRAMENTO, CA – AB 1665, Joint-Authored by several bipartisan Assemblymembers, including Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winters), Eduardo Garcia (D – Coachella), and Brian Dahle (R – Bieber), was approved on the Senate Floor Wednesday before heading back to the Assembly for concurrence on Friday. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses. This bill is the result of the successful negotiation of a $330 million bill package to expand broadband access and digital literacy in communities deprived of a reliable internet connection.
Several past efforts to increase funding to close the connectivity gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” known as the “Digital Divide,” were intensely opposed by the largest telecommunications and cable companies. After a three-year stalemate, this bill represents a cooperative effort between legislators of both houses and both parties, consumer advocates, and representatives from the telecommunications and cable industries to invest in broadband access and rural development.