WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.) announced that California was awarded over $1.8 billion in funding for broadband access through the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program, a key component of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding will help to deploy affordable, reliable high-speed Internet infrastructure to Californians through President Biden’s “Internet for All” initiative. California will receive just over $1,864,000,000 in BEAD funding.
“This critical funding from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be instrumental in bridging the digital divide in communities across California,” said Senator Padilla. “Access to high-speed Internet is essential infrastructure, but for too long, low-income and underserved communities have been shut out of educational and economic opportunities due to a lack of affordable and reliable access to Internet. These transformative investments will help address this equity gap and ensure that all Californians – regardless of zip code – can remain connected.”
“California is home to Silicon Valley and many of the largest tech companies in world. Unfortunately, despite leading in technology innovation, approximately one in five Californians lacks access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet,” said Senator Feinstein. “With this additional funding, California will have received nearly $7 billion from President Biden’s Internet for All initiative, ensuring more Californians are able to affordably access the internet to compete in today’s economy.”
Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, is a federal grant program that aims to get all Americans online by funding partnerships between states or territories, communities, and stakeholders to build infrastructure where we need it and increase adoption of high-speed Internet. BEAD prioritizes unserved locations that have no Internet access or that only have access under 25/3 Mbps and underserved locations only have access under 100/20 Mbps. The funding comes from the Department of Commerce’s $42.45 billion fund to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs nationwide. California has received a total of more than $6.9 billion in federal funding to bolster Internet connectivity during the Biden-Harris Administration. In addition to helping connect everyone in America to high-speed Internet, this new funding will support good paying jobs deploying fiber and by using materials Made in America.
Padilla and Feinstein are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to high-speed Internet. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Padilla and Feinstein supported, invests $65 billion to provide affordable, high-speed Internet to every American. The $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund program—which was included in the American Rescue Plan that Senator Padilla and Senator Feinstein also voted to pass—helped provide relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.