Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger commissioned the California Broadband Task Force (CBTF) to “remove barriers to broadband access, identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced com- munication technologies.” The governor also requested that the CBTF “pay particular attention to how broadband can be used to substantially benefit educational institutions, healthcare institutions, community-based organizations, and governmental institutions.”
This Report met both those objectives and also included specific recommendations to achieve the governor’s goals. The CBTF adopted three key goals:
- California must ensure ubiquitous and affordable broadband infrastructure, made available through a variety of technologies to all Californians.
- California must drive the creation and use of applications that produce the greatest economic, educational, and social benefits for California’s economy and communities.
- California must construct next-generation broadband infrastructure, positioning California as the global economic leader in a knowledge-based economy.
Through analysis of CBTF’s broadband mapping project and independent research, the Task Force determined that California is better positioned than most states on broadband availability and adoption, yet the state lags behind key foreign competitors. Specifically, the CBTF found:
- 96% of California residences have access to broadband.
- 1.4 million mostly rural Californians lack broadband access at any speed.
- Barely more than half of Californians have adopted broadband at home.
- Only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps (including both upstream and downstream speeds).
- Broadband infrastructure is deployed unevenly throughout the state, from state-of-the-art to nonexistent.
1. Build out high-speed broadband infrastructure to all Californians.
- Advancing new incentives for deployment and improving existing programs will create a world-class broadband infrastructure in California.
- Developing a public-private partnership between local governments and broadband providers to endorse permitting standards will improve the speed with which broadband is deployed.
- Expanding the opportunities for Californians to access, use, and learn broadband, at home and in the community, will provide the foundation for a digitally literate society that is able to fully benefit from broadband technology.
- Promoting innovative uses of broadband technology and encouraging wider e-government use will result in quality-of-life improvements, while increasing demand for a robust broadband infrastructure.
5. Create a statewide e-health network.
- Implementing a sustainable statewide e-health network will improve quality of care across the state and simultaneously increase demand for broadband services.
6. Leverage educational opportunities to increase broadband use.
- Ensuring high-capacity broadband connections coupled with a robust technology support system, relevant curriculum, literacy standards, and off-campus educational partnerships will provide California’s students with the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy.
7. Continue state-level and statewide leadership.