June 2015 
Let's Talk Broadband 

Welcome to the third issue of Let's Talk Broadband, a quarterly newsletter for getting California local government officials up to speed on broadband issues, brought to you by the California Emerging Technology Fund and Valley Vision.

Local government leaders and community partners from throughout California at the April 2015 Local Government Roundtable in Riverside.

How Broadband Can Help Your Community Thrive




Hosted by the California Emerging Technology Fund and partners, the 2015 Local Government Roundtable brought together 70 leaders, including 19 elected officials, from across California to Riverside this past April.


The purpose of the Roundtable was to engage a "critical mass" of key Local Government Officials throughout California to become active champions in closing the Digital Divide and promoting Digital Inclusion.  Featured were spotlights on the Yolo Broadband Strategic Plan and the Inland Empire's strategy to deploy this essential infrastructure.  Participating local officials exchanged information and identified opportunities to lead the way in transforming their jurisdictions into 'Smart Communities.' 


Let's Talk Broadband seeks to spur further discussion about what California's local leaders need to do to meet state and local broadband deployment and adoption goals.  Together we can work to close the Digital Divide and promote Digital Inclusion for our constituents and communities.  Please contact 

Jodi with updates from your region.




Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO, California Emerging Technology Fund


Jodi Mulligan-Pfile, Project Manager, Valley Vision, Connected Capital Area Broadband Consortium

Leaders in Action 


In an effort to spotlight regional broadband champions, we will be posting interviews with Leaders in Action to hear how they are working to close the Digital Divide.  Our latest Leaders in Action profile highlights the work of three broadband leaders:

  • Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, President of California State Association of Counties (CSAC);
  • Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams, Second Vice Chair of Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC); and
  • City of Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael, First Vice President of League of California Cities (LCC).
Our past conversations with Josť Cisneros, the Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco, and the Immediate Past President of the League of California Cities (LCC), and Mountain View Councilmember Mike Kasperzak, a Past President of LCC are available here and our conversation with Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, the Immediate Past President of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), can be seen here.
Survey Results: Internet Connectivity and the "Digital Divide"

The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is pleased to share with you the results of the 2015 Annual Survey on broadband adoption in California.  The Annual Survey is sponsored by CETF and conducted by the Field Research Corporation in 6 languages with a sample size in excess of 1,600 randomly-selected households.


The data underscores the need to incorporate Digital Inclusion into all major initiatives to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in California. 

Broadband Consortia Funding Bill Moving Through Legislature

Please join us in supporting AB 1262 (Wood), which will transfer $5 million to the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account and fund the continued work of California's network of consortia.


The bill recently passed on Consent in the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, Assembly Appropriations Committee and on the full floor vote.  AB 1262 passed the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee unanimously on June 16 and now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

In order to inform leaders about the importance of AB 1262, CETF, in partnership with Valley Vision, has developed a one-page communications document outlining the past accomplishments and future successes of California's network of regional broadband consortia.  With this resource in hand, we urge all stakeholders to submit letters of support and engage their local leaders in support of this important legislation.

FCC Votes to Expand Lifeline Subsidy Program

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chief Tom Wheeler lauded his agency's June 18 vote to reform the federal Lifeline phone subsidy program.  The new law allows Lifeline discounts to be used for standalone Internet access instead of phone service, or for a combination of the two services.


This vote validates that broadband is essential 21st Century infrastructure. Less than 50% of households with annual incomes less than $25,000 have broadband at home, and applying the Lifeline model to broadband is a promising development in the effort to close the Digital Divide.

See comments submitted regarding the Lifeline program, including those of the California Emerging Technology Fund, here.

Broadband Leadership Call to Action
In This Issue
Funding Opportunities


Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis


California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) Broadband Public Housing Account


Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis with an upcoming deadline of July 1, 2015

The CPUC Defines 'Broadband' As Minimum Speeds of 6 Mbps Download and 1.5 Mbps Upload.
Test Your Internet Speed Here!
 Partner Organizations


Tools and Resources
Boost Public Engagement with Technology
Public Engagement and Technology

Resources from the Institute for Local Government (ILG):

 Call To Action 
to Close the Digital Divide  

Resources from previous Local Government Roundtables: 

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For more information about this newsletter and to submit topic suggestions, please contact: 

Jodi Mulligan-Pfile 

Valley Vision