Why Broadband Matters in California… and Everywhere

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Broadband is a utility that’s a little bit like plumbing – just sexier.

Drew Clark Why Broadband Matters in California... and Everywhere Photo of the California State Capitol on Tuesday by Drew Clark

SACRAMENTO, June 4, 2024 – Why does broadband matter to California? Why does it matter anywhere?

This state is synonymous with innovation. In both the 20th and the 21st Century, it’s hard to overstate the role that innovation plays in the life of the Golden State – even at a time when some on the national stage want to throw darts at California.

And, while broadband internet access services can be dynamic and innovative, at bottom it is a basic infrastructure need. It’s a utility that’s a little bit like plumbing – just sexier.

It is that union of boring government responsibility, coupled with advancing technologies that are always pushing forward, that makes the topic of broadband so fascinating. And the need for it so great.

At the California Broadband Summit on Wednesday, June 5, stakeholders from around the state (and many others from around the country) will gather to catalyze state stakeholders. They will aim to leave with actions to ensure better broadband for all Californians.

The first annual Broadband Summit is part of the first annual CalMatters Ideas Festival, “Where Smart Conversations Spark Solution.”

As Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters, said in laying out the festival’s raison d’etre:

Decisions made here in Sacramento resonate across this largest of American states and are watched worldwide. But they also affect everyday details of our lives, from health care to housing to schools and the environment. While our Cal Matters journalists cover these issues in depth all year long, the festival lets you see and hear from the decision makers, the experts, the policymakers and the people who are affected, live in person.

Broadband Breakfast, host of Digital Infrastructure Investment, the BEAD Implementation Summit, the Broadband Measurement Summit, and many other events, is exited to welcome you to the Summit here on Wednesday.

The California Broadband Summit program begins at 10:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday, and runs until 3:45 p.m. PT, in four-and-a-half sessions.

We are particularly excited that the event will bring together key state leaders, including Rob Osborn, Director of Communications Division, California Public Utility Commission; Rep. Tasha Boerner, Assemblymember, California’s 77th Assembly District; Scott Adams, Deputy Director of Broadband and Digital Literacy, California Department of Technology; Mark Monroe, Deputy Director, California’s Middle Mile Broadband Initiative; plus key officials from civil society, industry and community organizing, all devoted to better broadband.

Panels 2, 3 and 4 will bring the dynamic and eclectic perspectives from moderators including Trish Kelly, Managing Director, Valley Vision; Greg Lucas, California State Librarian; and Sarah Lai Stirland, multimedia journalist.

See and sign up for the whole program:

California Broadband Summit

The event in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 5 is part of the CalMatters Ideas Festival on June 5-6, 2024.

In addition to the California Broadband Summit, please stay for the CalMatters Ideas Festival during Wednesday late afternoon and all day Thursday.

The agenda includes topics from AI and disinformation, workforce and the economy, homelessness, polarization and the future of smart cities and of democracy. Small stuff, right?

Profiles of California state leaders

Don’t miss Broadband Breakfast’s profiles this week in advance of the California Broadband Summit of three state leaders leading efforts for better and more equitable internet access:

Rob Osborn:

Rob Osborn Leads the Division of CPUC Responsible for Broadband Grants

Osborn is responsible for implementation of California broadband funding programs.

Scott Adams:

At California Department of Technology, Scott Adams Seeks Broadband for All

The team at California Department of Technology leads strategic planning and coordination of broadband deployments in the state.

and Mark Monroe.

Also, for some in-depth background on some of the Challenges of Broadband Infrastructure Deployment, see Exclusive Report, just published today:

Challenges of Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

Rights of way, pole attachments, environmental permitting and other hurdles to broadband infrastructure deployment.

Have a great week!

Drew Clark
Broadband Breakfast