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Frequently Asked Questions

Californians for a Connected Future (CCF) is committed to expanding access to affordable high-speed internet. The internet touches nearly every aspect of modern life from jobs to health care to education. High-speed internet ensures Californians can participate in today’s modern economy.
  • Why is it important to invest in modern communications networks like high-speed internet (broadband) in California?

    For California to maintain its place as the leader in global innovation, particularly in the technology sector, Californians must have access to reliable high-speed (broadband) internet. Just as important, investing in high-speed internet networks is critical to bridging the digital divide, and ensuring California’s global innovation economy works for all Californians.

  • What is the current state of the Digital Divide in California?

    The digital divide is the gap between those who have a broadband connection—and the tools to use it—and those who do not.  

    The pandemic revealed that having access to a reliable internet service, digital literacy skills, and access to devices is critical for everyday activities including applying for jobs, accessing medical care, searching for government services, and accessing educational opportunities. That is why it is critical for California to accelerate the deployment and adoption of broadband across the State.

  • Why is closing the digital divide so important for the future of California?

    It is critical that our state works together to bridge the digital divide once and for all. One way we do this is by ensuring we’re only investing in modern high-speed internet networks and not outdated voice-only connectivity. CCF has formed to help California reach the goal of ubiquitous high-speed internet coverage across the state. We want to ensure the Californians that are caught in the digital divide today are connected to our modern economy.

  • How does increasing high-speed internet access impact California’s rural communities?

    Studies have shown that high-speed internet access and adoption in rural areas is linked to increased job and population growth, higher rates of new business formation and home values, and lower unemployment rates. Increasing access to high-speed internet in rural communities can create new opportunities, such as generating new businesses, access to telehealth, online learning opportunities and remote work.

  • How will California’s seniors adopt new technologies?

    Seniors are adopting new technologies at very fast rates and are among the groups with the most to gain from investment in high-speed internet. A new survey by AARP of seniors found that 86% of seniors own a smart phone, 70% have a smart TV, 59% use a tablet, 31% have a home assistant, 28% own a wearable device, and 24% have a smart home-tech device. To stay in touch with others, 94% text, 88% email, 74% are on social media, and 67% video chat. 

    It’s important to note, that the pandemic highlighted the need for seniors, particularly in rural and underserved communities, to have access to broadband which allowed them to access telehealth services and stay connected to loved ones while in isolation. 

  • How does investing in communications infrastructure help improve public safety?

    In a natural disaster or other emergency event, public safety agencies often utilize text messaging, social media and web-based applications to convey warnings, evacuation information, and assistance center locations. In addition, California’s first responders rely on broadband networks to communicate with each other to coordinate rescue plans and share real-time data.

  • How does investing and upgrading broadband networks help with energy efficiency?

    Fiber optic cable systems (high-speed internet) are more energy efficient than copper. Fiber uses up to twelve times less energy than copper by transmitting data using light. Lower energy consumption means lower carbon emissions. Less energy means less generated heat, therefore fiber optic cables don’t need cooling systems to spend excess of energy to cool down the data and keep it at an appropriate temperature.

    Today, internet providers are investing in fiber technology that deliver high-speed connections to households. We know that fiber technology is more efficient than standard copper wiring and it can transfer more information faster and with higher quality over greater distances. Fiber optic technology functions using cables made of glass or plastic strands that transmit light, which allows data and voice signals to travel over the cables as optical beams (rather than electrical signals) which is faster, more efficient and secure when compared to copper.

    Fiber also reduces CO2 output because it requires fewer truck rolls to service fiber vs. copper or cable. In addition, there are likely more savings in CO2 transmissions from fiber because when used, it means more people can work from home reducing the amount of energy used to commute to work.

    High-speed internet can encourage businesses and homes to adopt emissions-reduction solutions and will help California’s manufacturing, energy, agriculture and transportation sectors manage and reduce emissions. 

  • What government funds are being dedicated to invest in high-speed internet?

    The State of California has allocated $6 billion for broadband investment, including $2 billion for last-mile broadband infrastructure, which will increase connectivity and affordability for underserved and unserved rural and urban communities and $3.25 billion for a statewide, open-access, middle-mile network.

    At the federal level, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has allocated $65 billion to expand broadband in communities across the nation. The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program. received $42.45 billion of the $65 billion total, nearly all of which is to provide states, territories, and other jurisdictions with allocations for broadband adoption and deployment projects (primarily last-mile projects).

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now offers the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which is a federal government program that provides a monthly benefit on internet service. ACP provides eligible households with a benefit of up to $30 a month to help reduce the cost of broadband service. Eligible households on qualifying Tribal lands can receive up to a $75 a month benefit.

    We have formed the Californians for a Connected Future to help encourage that our California leaders can work together to leverage these funds to connect our communities to high-speed internet and close the digital divide.     

  • Why should our organization join CCF?

    This is a critical time to ensure that the benefits of high-speed connectivity are available to all California communities. CCF believes that no single organization can accomplish the goal of universal high-speed internet access in California alone. Reaching the goal of closing the digital divide will require focus, investment, and collaboration across the State.

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