Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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CA Democratic Congressional Members Applaud $203 million in Broadband Grants to California

August 18, 2010
Press Release

Funding will provide advanced Internet infrastructure for
community colleges, rural areas and public safety agencies

California - California Democratic Congressional Members issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that California will receive approximately $203 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, under the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program.

On May 19, 2010, 18 Members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the NTIA in support of California’s Broadband grant applications. The letter can be found here: https://go.usa.gov/c56

"This funding will help our economy by investing in what California does best—innovating and expanding access to advanced technology," noted CA Democratic Delegation Chair, Zoe Lofgren (CA-16). "Through these projects, we will continue to build out our vital broadband infrastructure, bridge the digital divide, expand high speed Internet access to our community colleges and libraries, improve healthcare services and enhance public safety communications in the Bay Area. At the same time, this funding will create jobs in the technology, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors. The funds announced today are another important investments towards our economic recovery."

"With this funding, we are investing in the next generation of California’s economic growth," said Rep. George Miller (CA-7), Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. "These projects will expand and improve access to high speed internet for residents and businesses across the state. The California Broadband Cooperative, based in Vallejo, will use these funds to create jobs and connect communities – bringing educational access and economic development to underserved areas of our state. Each of these projects will be a Recovery Act success story – creating good jobs now while investing in California’s future to help move our economy forward."

"This broadband funding will build essential digital infrastructure for the 21st century in California and it will fulfill the Recovery Act’s central objective to create jobs for today and tomorrow," stated Rep. Henry Waxman (CA-30), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
 
"Every day the Internet becomes a more influential and critical resource for education, free speech, and commerce around the world. When a child cannot access the Internet, she suffers a severe disadvantage to her peers," stated Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-14), Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. "This is one reason we specifically crafted language in the Recovery Act to fund broadband deployment to underserved areas. I’ve worked on this issue for a long time and I’m so pleased today, because these vital grants are a real victory for California’s children, our first responders, and our nation."

"I am so pleased that California has been awarded these critically important broadband grants. Greater broadband access will help fuel economic development throughout the state by ensuring that all local businesses have reliable high-speed internet access. These Recovery Act resources will also invest in underserved communities in California, and provide them with a gateway to information they currently don’t have. Also, the ten million dollar investment in the California Foundation for Community Colleges will allow community colleges like Cuesta, Allan Hancock, Santa Barbara City and Oxnard in my district to expand digital education and training programs," said Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23).

"In our increasingly connected world, it is important that all Americans have access to, and a comfort with, broadband technology," said Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-5), a Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. "I am pleased that California has been awarded these funds, and that the Los Rios College District will be among the beneficiaries. These awards will assist both urban and rural communities throughout California in bridging the digital divide and ensuring that our citizens are able to be active participants in all aspects of society."

"Investing in our broadband infrastructure is an investment in the future of the San Joaquin Valley," said Rep. Jim Costa (CA-20). "Improving internet access will create new education opportunities for our students and will make Valley businesses and industries more competitive. This is good news for the 49% of Valley households without high-speed internet access, Valley jobs, and our entire economy."

"Broadband offers our state a clear path to economic growth and development," said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-47). "If California is going to compete in a 21st century economy, it needs every available resource to extend its technology leadership. This funding will create new jobs and new opportunities in our growing telecommunications industry."

"These grants will help to expand broadband access to low-income, rural and other underserved areas across California. Without fast internet service, searching for a new job, applying to college, running a small business and participating in our democracy are all made significantly more difficult. I welcome the Administration’s commitment to closing the digital divide and look forward to the day when affordable broadband service is available to every American family," stated Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34).

"Like electricity and the telephone in the early 20th century, the Internet has become a necessary part of modern life," Rep. Laura Richardson (CA-37) said. "The programs serviced by these grants will reach out to underserved communities across the state to bring them into the global village. These grants will give more Californians than ever before fast and reliable access to the online services and information they need. This is just another opportunity for California to lead the way for its residents while growing the economy and moving forward."

"Broadband is the express lane of the Internet, but for too long we’ve allowed other nations to pass by America," Rep. John Garamendi (CA-10) said. "We’re presently ranked 18th in the world in average broadband speed – four times slower than South Korea. In a global economy increasingly reliant on fast and reliable Internet access, especially in California, this investment in broadband is critically needed."

Below is the list of the seven grant applications awarded funding in CA:

Digital 395 Middle Mile, California Broadband Cooperative, Inc, $ 81,148,788.00
Description provided by grantee:
The California Broadband Cooperative’s Digital 395 Middle Mile project proposes to build a new 553-mile, 10 Gbps middle-mile fiber network that would mainly follow U.S. Route 395 between southern and northern California. In addition to 36 municipalities, the project’s proposed service area encompasses six Indian reservations and two military bases. More than 230 community anchor institutions would be directly connected at speeds of 10 Mbps, with 2.5 Gbps and higher-capacity fiber-based services offered to the region’s last mile providers to expand or enhance service to households and businesses.

The San Francisco Bay Area Wireless Enhanced Broadband Project (BayWEB), Motorola, Inc., $ 50,593,551.00
Description provided by grantee: This public-private partnership led by Motorola, Inc. aims to deploy a 700 MHz interoperable wireless public safety broadband network and a public access wireless broadband network in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Examples of advanced public safety applications to be enabled by the network include real-time mobile video for field officers; geolocation information about damage, dangers, hazardous materials, road conditions, and personnel and vehicle location; immediate Amber Alert file transfers; and virtual command centers to support emergency evacuations. The Bay Area Regional Interoperability Communications System (BayRICS) will manage quality-of-service, access, interoperability, policy, and system management issues for the public safety network.

California Connects, Foundation for California Community Colleges, $ 10.9 million
Description provided by grantee:
The Foundation for California Community Colleges, in partnership with community colleges and other learning centers across an 18-county region in the Central Valley, plans to provide outreach, training, and learning support to increase digital literacy skills and broadband adoption, especially among low-income Hispanic residents in the region.

CVIN CA, $46,619,757
Description provided by grantee:
This approximately $46.6 million award, with nearly $20 million in matching contributions, will allow Central Valley Independent Network (CVIN) to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in the Central Valley region of California. The project plans to directly connect up to 63 community institutions to broadband. As many as 3.6 million people stand to benefit as do 160,000 businesses. In addition to the over 280 jobs CVIN estimates the project will create, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Plumas Sierra, Telecommunications CA, $13,770,240
Description provided by grantee:
This approximately $13.8 million award will allow Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative to offer affordable middlemile broadband service in California, foster economic development, and improve education, and healthcare in rural areas of the state. The project plans to directly connect 18 community institutions to broadband. As many as 33,000 people stand to benefit as do 2,100 businesses. In addition to the more than 180 jobs Plumas Sierra estimates the project will create, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Zerodivide CA, $686,157
Description provided by grantee:
This approximately $686,000 award, with nearly $300,000 in matching contributions, will allow ZeroDivide to increase broadband usage among the 15 Native American tribes in rural San Diego County, California as part of its Tribal Digital Village project, which will provide 8,900 tribal residents and 2,000 residents living in adjacent communities with broadband training, awareness, and adoption programs. In addition to the jobs this project will create, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Zerodivide CA, HI, NM, OR, UT, WA, $1,384,242
Description provided by grantee:
This $1.4 million award, with $605,000 in matching contributions, will allow ZeroDivide to expand broadband access to low-income youth in communities across California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The project plans to provide training and support services to encourage sustainable adoption and technology awareness with a focus on disadvantaged communities. In addition to the jobs this project will create, it will provide a foundation for economic growth and job creation for decades to come.

Total: Approximately $203 million